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Re: [genpcfr] DNA Testing List

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  • mpbamma@aol.com
    Faye, This is a pretty good explanation of what the DNA will do. It was from Jewelle on 3-4-01.Sherri ... archives and searches through miles of microfiche and
    Message 1 of 29 , May 25, 2001
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      Faye, This is a pretty good explanation of what the DNA will do. It was from
      Jewelle on 3-4-01.Sherri

      >PROVO, Utah -----  Genealogical research has always meant days in dusty
      archives and searches through miles of microfiche and stacks of faded
         But soon, history hunters might be able to find out where they're from
      with a quick cheek swab and a few hours of gene testing.
         Scott Woodward, a microbiology professor at Brigham Young University, is
      directing a project that combines old-fashioned genealogy with the latest
      technology in the hope of making it easier to fill out family trees.
         "Each of us carries a history of who we are and how we're related to the
      whole world", Woodward said as he pored over blood samples in his busy
      campus laboratory.  "We're trying to decode that history."
         The process begins with the prick of a needle.  Volunteers from all over
      the country, each with a written genealogy that extends back at least to
      their great-great-grandparents, have given Woodward a few teaspoons of blood
      during the first year of the project.
         DNA from the blood is analyzed to create a map of about 250 simple
      genetic markers.
         In the future, a supercomputer will create a matrix of all those genes
      and the historical data from the donated family trees.  Woodward says he'll
      then be able to focus on any spot in space and time -- say, Denmark in
      1886 -- to identify the genes residents carried.
         That means future genealogists, perhaps just five or 10 years from now,
      will be able to submit their own DNA and a query.  Because all names are
      stripped off the blood samples and charts to protect privacy, it is
      impossible to track specific individuals.  But a researcher could ask where
      his or her great-grandmother was from, and Woodward could answer:  she was
      born in Denmark around 1886.
         That's an exciting proposition, said Ed Gaulin, president of the
      Manasota Genealogical Society in Bradenton, Fla., which helped organize a
      recent sampling trip by the BYU researchers to western Florida.
         "I've been at this genealogy thing since I was a kid and I've seen three
      major advances in genealogy," said Gaulin, who donated blood himself.  "The
      photocopier was the first, the next was the computer, and the third one is
      DNA.  That's where I put this.  It's that important."
         "There have been people out there suggesting that DNA will be the
      guideline for pedigrees in the future," said Russ Henderson, spokesman for
      the National Geneagical Society.  But he warned that genealogy buffs should
      remember that genetic material is just another clue in the search for their
       At least 11,000 people have donated blood so far, a bit more than the
      initial one-year goal of 10,000, and Woodward hopes to collect another
      30,000 samples this year.  He figures he needs 100,000 for a solid database,
      which he could have in three years.>

      [Note:  A photo is shown with the article with this caption]
      >DNA samples line the shelves in a cold storage room (above) at Brigham
      Young University, where ethnic traces within the DNA are being analyzed to
      determine a person's geneological background by microbiology professor Scott

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