Growing the Family Tree: The Power of DNA in Reconstructing Family Relationships

Hutchison, L.A.D.; Myres, N.M.; Woodward, S.R.
Hutchison, L
Myres, N
Woodward, S
Proc. First Symposium on Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (BIOT-04)
Citations range: 
1 - 9
Hutchison2004GrowingtheFamilyTreeThe.pdf353.34 KB

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation is building
the world’s largest database of correlated genetic and genealogical
information to enable genealogical research to
be performed using DNA analysis techniques. DNA samples
with associated 4-generation pedigree charts have so far
been collected from approximately 40,000 volunteers. Up to
170 regions of DNA are currently analyzed for each individual,
and the corresponding pedigree chart is extended as far
as genealogical databases allow, to currently include over
700,000 ancestral records. By combining these two sets of
correlated data on an unprecedented scale, we are enabling
progress for the first time into the new field of “molecular
Molecular genealogy is the application of DNA analysis
techniques and statistical population genetics to the
task of reconstructing unknown genealogies from the genetic
and genealogical information of living individuals. We
address aspects of using DNA for genealogical research, including
those of identification and differentiation of populations
(with population boundaries defined not just by factors
of demographic separation, but also by time periods),
differences in inheritance models of the various types of genetic
data, clustering, statistical reconstruction of ancestral
trees, inference of ancestral genetic signatures, and inference
of surname based on paternal-line DNA.