Sunday, May 18, 2014

DNA News of the Week: Can DNA lie to You?

Well, my DNA has never lied to me. I've had people lie to me, but my DNA has been honest with me. Looking at my health related DNA results it show an increased risk for Thyroid disease, and I did get Graves disease 10 years ago. A news report shared by Elise Friedman at Facebook regarding Family Tree DNA brought up this particular question. The reporter said DNA doesn't lie. True, it doesn't but the results are open to interpretation. The report did provide some information I'm always excited to hear about. Bennett Greenspan was briefly interviewed and stated that 1.1 million people have tested through Family Tree DNA and the Genographic project. He also stated they are processing 200 to 300 tests a day. Really great news for those of us who have tested with them. You can listen to the report here.

An interesting blog post regarding the phasing of atDNA results was posted this week. Phasing may help to reduce the Identical by State matches. Read more here at  DNA Genealogy.

I had a very exciting week DNA wise. Larry Forgey's DNA results finally came in after two months of waiting. His results provided very important data for our group at Family Tree DNA. He didn't share the rare mutation my Uncle had. No one else in our group, or our close matches at the Ferguson group have this mutation. It's on a slow mutating marker. If Larry did share this mutation it could have caused a reconsideration of the circumstantial case we've put together for the family. Larry mismatched the modal by one marker. The mutation was on a fast mutating marker. Roger Forgey remains the only person matching the modal exactly. We now need someone to test in the William Forgey of PA line, and we need more testers to help resolve the NPE's in the John Forgy PA line.

One of the best tips I got regarding working with the AncestryDNA results is the AncestryDNA Helper. It a chrome extension which gives you more tools to work with to analyse your results. You can download your matches along with their ancestral info. You can also use the search functions which the extension adds to your pages to search using user name. You can also search your notes. The surname search, however, doesn't work as well. The Ancestry search actually works well now. 

I was able to see, visually, the difference between the number of matches at Ancestry and Family Tree DNA when I made these charts. Ancestry has a much larger pool of testers to match with. Here are the notes I made when reviewing my results. 


Family Tree DNA

I have found more connections at Ancestry. I do have some good matches at Family Tree DNA also, just not as many. 

I had two great matches this week. My first confirmed DNA match from Burgenland, Austria showed up this week. It was at Family Tree DNA so I was able to triangulate, and found two more possible Burgenland related matches. I also got my first Del Castillo match (my grandmother Forgey's maiden name). I had an Arguello match before. This Del Castillo match is Del Castillo Arguello. They are also related to the Chamorro family. Violetta Chamorro was President to Nicaragua. My Del Castillo family was also part of the ruling class in Nicaragua. 

Hopefully we'll have more testers soon, and more results to look forward to!  

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