• Test Your DNA!

Fewer SNPs Test Reveals Familial Relationships Up to Second Cousins

drawn image of a double helix of DNA

Fewer SNPs Tested Means Faster and Cheaper Results A new DNA analysis methodology — based on a quick swab test using fewer SNPs– allows high-certainty detection of 2nd cousins or closer. In order to determine if two people are related (they call second cousins distant relatives although we genealogists would consider them close relatives!) the research team used an index of relatedness: “index of chromosome sharing” (ICS). ICS compares the total cM two people share to a chart detailing the likely relationship between them. The chart is adjusted for the number of SNPs tested. In their prototype testing, they used … more…

The ABCs of DNA — Part 1

drawn image of a double helix of DNA

DNA DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid, is the blueprint for everything that makes you – you! Every living creature on Earth — and some quasi-living creatures such as viruses and prions – have a DNA blueprint telling it how and when to make which proteins. Proteins are complex polymers that constitute the basic building material of a living creature. Like a blueprint for a building, DNA uses a universal code to transmit its instructions to the ‘construction crew’ in rest of the cell. All living creatures inherit this information from their parent (asexual reproduction) or parents (sexual reproduction.) Discoverers James … more…

Track Your Family Ethnicity on an Excel Chart!

My Ancestry or Ethnicity at a Glance! Everyone’s doing it so why not you? Below you’ll find a blank, 6-generation Excel sheet formatted so that you can track your ancestors names OR – as the new fad suggests – color-code each ancestor’s country or ethnicity. As an example, here’s mine and the logic I chose. First I created an excel sheet with each cell outlined that would have an ancestor’s country listed. I stuck to the convention where father’s are on top and mother’s on the bottom… coughs.. well.. it’s a tradition. I chose to vertically align the countries in … more…

The ABC’s of DNA — The Cell

An image of a cell with cellular bodies colored.

What is a Cell? The simplest organisms are single-celled creatures such as bacteria and algae while more complex organisms, such as humans and trees, are comprised of many cells with specialized functions. Cells consist of membrane bound collections of DNA, proteins, sugars and cytosol –the jelly-like liquid inside the cell. The semi-porous cell membrane controls what enters and exits the cell. Scientists split cells into two main types: prokaryotic cells, such as those comprising bacteria and archae that do not have a well-defined nucleus, and eukaryotic cells that have a distinct nucleus surrounded by a nuclear membrane. Bacteria! Small cells, … more…

New Feature at Ancestry – DNA Matches on Profiles!

New Tool on other Profiles You Can Access

Thanks to some friendly chatter on a Facebook group I heard rumor yesterday that there had been some changes at Ancestry.com but that only some folks had gotten it rolled out yet (about 1 in 10 at this time). The latest improvement involves the profile pages of folks that administer tests for themselves or others. Now, if you look at a profile page, you can see if the person themselves matches you by DNA or if they administer a test that matches you. To see what it looks like, go to any profile page. It will look like this if … more…