Saturday 18 August 2012

Geno 2.0 update

I wrote about the launch of the new Geno 2.0 test from the Genographic Project at the end of July. Some further details about the test have become available in the last few weeks. The genetic genealogy bloggers, CeCe Moore and Roberta Estes, have both received e-mails from Spencer Wells, National Geographic's Explorer-in-Residence, with further details on the SNPs (markers) to be used in the project and the degree of community involvement. Links to the posts are provided below:

- CeCe Moore   A short update from Spencer Wells on Geno 2.0 (30 July 2012)
- Roberta Estes  Geno 2.0 answers from Spencer Wells (30 July 2012)
- CeCe Moore   More information from Spencer Wells on Geno 2.0 (31 July 2012)
- Roberta Estes  Geno 2.0, WTY, mtDNA full sequence participants, and more (31 July 2012)

Charles Moore, the administrator of the haplogroup R1b-U106 project, and his co-administrator Mike Maddi had the opportunity to have lunch with Bennett Greenspan, the CEO of Family Tree DNA, a couple of weeks ago. Charles reported back to the U106 mailing list on 6th August and he has very kindly given me permission to reprint his posting here which provides some additional technical information about the new Geno 2.0 test.
R1b-U106 Project Co-Administrator Mike Maddi and I had lunch with Bennett Greenspan on Saturday. Bennett gave us a tour of the renovated lab, including the new DNA storage machine with windows that allowed us to watch it perform its various robotic tasks, efficiently filling little wells in plates with lots of wonderful little DNA samplings.

The discussion naturally moved quickly towards the new National Geographic "Genographic Project" Geno 2.0 test.

Bennett said that yes, individual SNP testing will remain at FTDNA, and when significant or terminal branch SNPs are discovered via Geno 2.0 that are not currently testable on an individual basis at FTDNA, they would be made testable. Since we do not yet know the number of SNPs we are talking about, it's not yet feasible to estimate when these will become available, but likely around the end of the year.

But testers interested in testing lots of SNPs, for whatever reasons, should sign up for the National Geographic Geno 2.0 test. Going forward, this test will be the method for accomplishing this objective.

Bennett added that lots of SNPs from Asian labs, and Near Eastern/Mediterranean labs, that we are mostly not otherwise familiar with, are included on the chip. Additionally about 5,000 newly identified SNPs from the 1000 Genomes project have been added to the chip. And of course, the chip tests mtDNA and autosomal DNA as well as Y DNA. Aside from the reports about 12,000 Y SNPs on the chip, Bennett added that about 1,000 of them are already known to be below Haplo R1, however many are likely synonymous with current SNPs on the tree.

Bennett did say that the POSITIVE results from Y SNPs on the Geno 2.0 test, may be re-merged with one's existing FTDNA account, and thereby will also show up on the Project's public SNP list. As Administrators, Mike and I were very grateful for this answer!

23 public WTY testers' samples, and approximately 300 FMS (aka mtDNA FGS) testers' samples were used to help verify the chip. These testers will be notified in the next few weeks, and they will receive Geno 2.0 refunds if they have already ordered Geno 2.0, Bennett confirmed. They will also receive Geno 2.0 accounts that can be re-merged into their FTDNA accounts as well.
WTY is an abbreviation for Walk Through the Y, a SNP discovery project at Family Tree DNA. Further information about WTY can be found on the Walk Through the Y page in the ISOGG Wiki. FMS is an abbreviation for the full mitochondrial sequence test which is also known as the full genomic sequence (FGS) test. This test is available from Family Tree DNA and it provides a reading of all 16,569 bases in the mitochondrial genome.

I previously reported that the Geno 2.0 kits would be available for order from Family Tree DNA. It appears that this is not the case and I have now updated my previous blog post accordingly.

Former Genographic Project participants can receive a discount of $30 off the cost of the new kit for a limited period. The discount can only be obtaining by calling the customer service line so this is probably only a realistic option for participants living in North America.

Geno 2.0 can be pre-ordered via the Genographic Project website.

There is also information about the test on the Family Tree DNA website.

A summary of the key features of the new Geno 2.0 test can be found on the Genographic Project page in the ISOGG Wiki.

© Debbie Kennett 2012

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