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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walk the Y

Dear Friends,

As most of you are aware, one of my passions is the pursuit of genetic genealogical research. I have been in involved in several areas of personal testing, including Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA, autosomal testing and some deep clade testing.

I am involved with a very cutting edge group of genetic researchers through Family Tree DNA, Texas Genomics Center and the University of Arizona.

I belong to a Y group or cluster known as L792, an offshoot of the E1b1b1c1 haplogroup or as it is now officially known, E1b1b1b2a1d*. It is a fairly large and distinct cluster that left africa approximately 22,400 years ago and settled in the  levant.

In order to amass more information about our cluster I have volunteered to submit my DNA sample for a highly involved testing called Walk the Y. Our DNA is defined primarily by two measuring devices for mutations, SNP's and STR's. SNP is short for single nucleotide polymorphism and STR is a short tandem repeat. Geneticists can chart the human evolution of DNA by evaluating these markers.

Walk the Y will hopefully uncover a whole bunch of new SNP's. In the long term this will benefit a host of people, from medical researchers to genetic anthropologists and more. I would humbly like to ask for your help in raising the $750.00 that this expensive and complicated test will require. I have enlisted a new fundraising device called Crowd Tilt if you wish to donate through that portal. Donations can also be made through Paypal at blheron@pacbell.net or personally to me. If all of my readers offered a dollar I could fund this in a week. I get no direct benefit, except for being a part of a new frontier of genetic exploration.

I offer a little information about Walk the Y.

Walk Through the Y is an advanced sequencing test focused on the discovery of new haplogroup-defining SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) on the Y-chromosome.

"Walk Through the Y is an advanced sequencing test focused on the discovery of new haplogroup-defining SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) on the Y-chromosome."

Essentially, it tests a large sequence of the Y chromosome by testing for known SNPs in every haplogroup, and then looks for new SNPs near the known SNPs.  At present, WTY covers approximately 400,000 bases.  When WTY first started in 2008, it covered perhaps 90,000 bases.  The coverage of the WTY increases periodically -- when new SNPs are discovered via academic studies and external projects such as the 1000 Genomes project, and FTDNA starts testing for those SNPs, they also get added to WTY.

Walk Through the Y goes beyond the scope of Deepclade testing, offering customers the opportunity to participate in testing at the forefront of Y-chromosome DNA research. We test several hundred SNPs by sequencing significant portions of the Y-chromosome, obtaining results for SNPs already discovered, but also searching for new ones.

This research can expedite the discovery of SNPs that help subdivide haplogroups, lead to in-depth studies of family or private SNPs, and increase the SNPs available through advanced orders.

The Walk Through the Y (WTY) test directly sequences your Y-chromosome DNA for known SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). The lab checks the raw results for new SNPs that are near the known SNP. The test has the following features.

It uses sanger sequencing.
Segments are from the non-recombining part of the Y-chromosome.
It includes both the forward and reverse primer.
It sequences five plates of 96 segments (5x96 = 480).
We test over 180 kB of the Y-chromosome.

There are several outcomes for Walk Through the Y (WTY) testing. They are:
No additional SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphims) are found
A private SNP is found
A semi-private SNP is found
A subclade defining SNP is found
A redundant (equivalent to others on the tree) SNP is found

This testing may lead to the discovery of historic and genetic mutations in our understanding of DNA. The technology is moving forward so fast, now testing over 400,000 base pairs. There is a real possibility of some very exciting discoveries and this exploration is currently near the ground floor. I rarely ask for help and I know that times are tight. If you are able to contribute, it would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Robert Sommers

Donations - 

Warren b. $25.00 3/29/12
Ed - $20.00 3/30/12
Len - $50.00 3/31/12
Jon - $5.00
Wanda - $20.00
Stan and Tracy - $20.00

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