Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy DNA Day! (Celebrate with FTDNA's sale or 23andMe's multi-kit discount!)

Happy DNA Day to all of my friends!

Today is DNA Day! First observed ten years ago, DNA Day now celebrates all things genetic. It commemorates the day sixty years ago when the journal Nature published the papers by Watson, Crick, Wilkins, Gosling and Franklin describing the double helix structure of DNA and, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute, DNA Day also "commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003".

This year, in honor of DNA Day, 23andMe commissioned a survey of 1,067 Americans to find out just how much people in the United States know about genetics. Not surprisingly, it revealed the need for increased education, with only 21% of those surveyed correctly understanding that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. One of the most significant things that they found is that, while only 2% of the people surveyed had taken a genetics test, 73% of those who haven't would like to get tested in the future. Further, according to 23andMe, 71% of those said that the health results are what most interests them. (I guess we shouldn't be surprised by 23andMe's primary focus.) Even if they aren't all genetic genealogy enthusiasts, this is very good news for those of us who are. It appears that we can look forward to the databases growing exponentially in the coming months and years.

Although 23andMe is not offering a special discount for today, I did want to point out to anyone who hadn't yet noticed that 23andMe is now offering a multi-kit discount. The first kit is the regular price of $99, but any additional kits ordered at the same time are 20% off (that's only $79.20!). The discount is automatically applied when you add the kits to your cart.

Don't forget that Family Tree DNA's extensive DNA Day sale was extended through tonight April 30th.

It's a very good day to order a kit and add to what you know about (your) DNA!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DNA Makes a Splash at RootsTech 2013!

[I started writing this post right after Rootstech, but never published it. I had thought it was too late, but since lots of blogs are still discussing RootsTech, I decided to go ahead and publish it.]

I already wrote about the DNA announcements made at RootsTech, but DNA was such a hit at this year's RootsTech conference that I think another post is due.

This was my first attendance at RootsTech and I was impressed. The conference had more DNA talks than ever and most were standing room only. I think the organizers may need to give us all bigger rooms next year!

Nathan Murphy of the SLC Family History Library spoke to a full room about the application of Y-DNA for genealogy (Update - I just found Nathan's talk online.). Diahan Southard from The Genetic Genealogy Consultant gave an entertaining presentation on my favorite subject - autosomal DNA.  Elise Friedman from Relative Roots and Family Tree DNA gave two talks to packed rooms - one which lasted substantially longer than scheduled due to the enthusiastic questioning from the audience. AncestryDNA hosted a sold-out luncheon program featuring DNA and their product director Kenny Freestone gave a separate presentation on the AncestryDNA product.

My first presentation was on the Geno 2.0 test. My crowd was highly engaged and full of questions.

RootsTech Geno 2.0 Presentation

YGG and the Geno 2.0 Presentation Audience

My second presentation was an "Ask the Experts" genetic genealogy panel. Participants were Bennett Greenspan, CEO of Family Tree DNA; Dr. Catherine Ball, VP of Genomics and Bioinformatices for AncestryDNA and Dr. Tim Janzen, 23andMe Ancestry Ambassador and Independent Researcher. I had prepared questions, but didn't need them since we had such an enthusiastic crowd. Before we got started with questions, I asked the room how many had tested before. I was shocked to see almost every hand in the room go up. Most had tested at all three of the major companies and with multiple types of tests. I was expecting to have a much less advanced crowd, but since panels are inherently flexible, it worked out beautifully. I only wish we had more time since there were many hands raised throughout the entire hour and I don't think everyone got a chance to ask their question.

"Ask the Experts" panel - photo courtesy Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf

The bottom line is that DNA for genealogy is here to stay. I think Dick Eastman expressed it best in the "Future of Genealogy" panel. When asked what three words best described the future of genealogy, he instead opted to respond with three letters "D.N.A."!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Family Tree DNA's DNA Day Sale Starts Now!


Just in from Family Tree DNA. (These are really great prices!)


Full Mitochondrial Sequence: $189
Family Finder:  $169
Y-DNA + Full Sequence: $358

We are pleased to announce our 2013 DNA DAY Promotion. While the special pricing features all the major tests, we’re placing particular emphasis on the Full Mitochondrial Sequence and Family Finder. We’ll offer Y-DNA upgrades during a Father’s Day sale and will give you those details
at that time. By carefully choosing the sale options and limiting the length of the sale, we will be better able to focus our resources on processing the tests efficiently and avoiding delays in delivering results.

We are proud to announce we have successfully moved our mtDNA Full Sequencing line from Sanger DNA sequencing to what is called Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). This gives us much greater capacity to process tests, to reduce costs without sacrificing quality, and to ensure shorter turnaround times. We must run the entire sequence every time we process an mtDNA full sequence test, even for upgrades. However, in recognition of your prior investment- and National DNA Day – we’re offering our lowest price ever for the FMS and upgrades. Rather than the 8-10 weeks first generation sequencing required, we expect results to be completed within 5-6 weeks. This does depend on the number of orders received though. If their DNA is already at our lab, those who order first may expect even shorter turnaround times. For a limited time we will be selling the FMS for $189 and whether you’ve tested HVR1 or HVR1+2, you’ll be able to upgrade to the Full Sequence for just $129!

In addition, we are also lowering the Family Finder to $169 for this sale! Here is the list of all tests under the promotion:

Full MtDNA Sequence…. $189
Upgrades to FMS….$129
Y-DNA37 (new and add-on)…. $119
Y-DNA67 (new and add-on)…. $199
Y-DNA37 + Full MtDNA Sequence…. $308
Y-DNA12 + FF…. $218
Y-DNA37 + FF…. $288
Y-DNA67 + FF…. $368
Family Finder.... $169
Family Finder + Full MtDNA Sequence…. $358
SuperDNA….$388 (Y-67 + FMS)
Comprehensive DNA…. $557 (Y-67 + FMS + FF)

The sale will begin tonight, April 18th, at 6PM CDT and will conclude at 11:59PM CDT on Monday April 22nd. All orders must be placed and paid for by the end of the sale to receive the promotional price. There will be no need for a coupon - all prices will be automatically adjusted on the website.  Order here.

Bennett Greenspan
Family Tree DNA

All orders must be placed and paid for by 11:59PM on Monday April 22nd, to receive the promotional rate. As with all promotions, orders need to be placed by the end of the sale and payment must be made by end of this sale.