8th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy – Day 2

ISOGG FTDNA Chapter Meeting Sunday morning at the conference always starts with a meeting of the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) FTDNA Chapter.  ISOGG President Katherine Borges reminded everyone that ISOGG is a free support network for genetic genealogists.  Upon joining ISOGG, members receive an invitation to the ISOGG mailing list.  Katherine reminded everyone that ISOGG is self-supporting and hosts booths.  They maintain speakers list.  If you speak on Genetic Genealogy, please submit your name. Alice Fairhurst is in charge of the ISOGG Y-SNP tree.  She pleaded with the audience for volunteers to help administrate the tree.  There are just a few people who struggle to keep up with everything on a voluntary basis outside of their regular jobs, which often includes engineering and IT positions.  Alice shared changes that we can expect, including migrating ISOGG to a more powerful server and utilizing an SQL database.  The tree will remain in its current style through 2012 and she is not sure if they will be able to get the new tree up in January.  It is still too early to say. It is going to be very important to learn SNP names, as subclade names may change as new discoveries are found on the Geno project.  The new system is going to be parent / child.  She said, “The explosion in knowledge in the last two years has been tremendous.”  Many universities and students are now using the ISOGG tree and routinely send notes of thanks to the group for all they’ve done and are doing.  The ISOGG page that receives the most hits is the Index to Y-DNA SNPs. Brian Swann, the ISOGG European Coordinator for England and Wales, has...

8th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy – Day 1

The 8th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy was held at the Sheraton Intercontinental North Houston on November 9-10, 2012.  Bennett Greenspan opened the conference with a welcome speech that included some new information for group administrators.  Usually Max does the opening, but his voice was not cooperative so Bennett had the honors this year. Bennett started by explaining the corporate structure of the company, Gene by Gene.  There are four branches: ancestry, health, research, and paternity.  The branch most people are familiar with is Family Tree DNA, the ancestry branch of Gene by Gene.  The health branch is called DNA Traits.  This branch does gene sequencing work for hospitals on a few continents and is a regulated branch.  DNA DTC  specializes in research and next generation sequencing including the entire exome at 80x coverage and the whole genome.  Finally, DNA Findings specializes in paternity testing and immigration. Family Tree DNA has purchased 1.5 million vials since its inception.  The vials have a tethered strap on the lid, which was ultimately causing wrist strain for the lab employees and wasting valuable time and resources.  Family Tree DNA discovered a company in Europe with an automatic capper and decapper that will also dispense the proteinase K to the approximately 500 sample tubes processed per day.  The new tubes will have a red removable cap.  More automation comes to Family Tree DNA! While waiting for Spencer Wells to join in live via Skype, Bennett answered a question about Geno 2.0.  Bennett indicated that National Geographic has decided that all people should buy Geno 2.0 through their catalog and get the nice kit that they have designed.  Bennett suspects (but cannot...

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