Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA Profiling For Tracing Parental Ancestry Becomes More Accurate And Reliable

Date:
December 29, 2008
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
A lesser known but rapidly growing application of DNA profiling is tracing paternal ancestry. NIST researchers recently published a paper with recommendations for genealogy testing that they hope will improve accuracy and reliability.

Anyone who has watched crime dramas on TV knows that forensic scientists can use DNA “profiling” to identify people from evidence gathered at a crime scene, establish a paternity link or help free an innocent person who has been wrongly jailed. A lesser known but rapidly growing application of DNA profiling is tracing a person’s paternal ancestry—a process known as genetic genealogy.

Related Articles


The laboratories performing this testing often differ in their results, making data comparison between labs difficult and casting doubt on reported genetic matches. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently published a paper with recommendations for genealogy testing that they hope will improve the accuracy and reliability of the product.

A man’s paternal lineage can be traced using the DNA on his Y chromosome (Y-DNA), which, like many European surnames, passes from father to son. DNA profiling provides a genetic path that follows the surname through the years. Women who wish to know their ancestry can ask their father, brother, paternal uncle or paternal grandfather to take the test for them.

Genetic genealogy works by studying the sequences of repeating nucleotide (the base components of DNA) patterns on the Y chromosome known as short tandem repeats (STRs). Each STR is considered a separate marker for potential genetic matching because the number of times it is repeated will be the same for related males. For example, a person may have one STR sequence that repeats 12 times, another 11 times, a third 17 times and so on. If another male has a Y chromosome with a high percentage of the same STRs, it is considered likely that they share a common ancestor. Accurately counting the number of repeats is a tricky task and the source of much of the error in genetic genealogy tests, causing genealogists to make incorrect matches or miss family connections altogether.

In their paper, the NIST researchers explain the basis for the differing interpretations and recommend a solution using the agency’s certified reference material for human Y-chromosome DNA profiling (Standard Reference Material 2395), a collection of Y-STR markers that can serve as a means for genetic labs to calibrate their testing equipment. The researchers “strongly encourage [SRM 2395’s] use to enable compatible and calibrated measurements to be made between different Y-STR testing laboratories.”

Their sentiment is echoed by an editorial in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy that says of the NIST paper, “The advantages of having industry-wide standards are compelling for both buyers and sellers of genetic genealogy services.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J.M. Butler, M.C. Kline and A.E. Decker. Addressing Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) allele nomenclature. J. Genetic Genealogy, 4:125-148 (2008)

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "DNA Profiling For Tracing Parental Ancestry Becomes More Accurate And Reliable." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223172751.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2008, December 29). DNA Profiling For Tracing Parental Ancestry Becomes More Accurate And Reliable. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223172751.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "DNA Profiling For Tracing Parental Ancestry Becomes More Accurate And Reliable." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223172751.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins