Harvard Launching Bioethics Class through EdX

A new open online class on bioethics through EdX goes live this September. Taught by Harvard, it looks to target law and medical students. The topics though are relevant to our genetic genealogy community. From the EdX site: The content within this course is intended to be instructive, and show how legal reasoning has been applied, or could be applied, to questions related to parenthood, reproduction, and other issues surrounding human genetic material. The material organized within this course should be considered an authoritative overview, but is not intended to serve as medical or legal advice.

Genetic Genealogy News

The Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins – GenBank data

I am building the table for mtDNA sequences from GenBank. GenBank sequences are the main source for defining branches on the maternal tree. Therefore, they help us understand not only the origins of a branch but the current structure of the tree -- what we know and its limits.

The Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins – Geno 2 Samples & Maternal Origin

This is a project that will create mtDNA pages for all named subclades. One part of each page will hold a table of results from National Geographic's Genographic Project's Geno 2 results. The combination of accademic sample collection and public participation, the Genographic database is one of the largest sources of mtDNA result with maternal ancestry information.

  • Forest by Pixels

The Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins – Phylotree History Log

I have been working on the part that shows the current and historic definitions of a branch under Phylotree. From the first post, we have a user story --What the user wants. As a user with mtDNA results, I would like to know how the named branch is defined in the current Phylotree build and has been in past ones.

  • Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins - mtDNA Website 1

The Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins – Background and Summary Information

Continuing from my first post on the Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins... After learning the basics of using the Pods framework to create custom post types, custom fields, and templates to present them on webpages, I decided to create an mtDNA stories custom post type. For those who don't know Wordpress, post types are different types of web pages. All pages of the same type share a common set of fields and features. Creating a type lets one add additional parts that only make sense for some pages.

Recent Journal Articles

On the paternal heritage of the Bantu expansion in Southeast Africa

Here we report the results of fine resolution Y chromosomal analyses (Y-SNP and Y-STR) of 267 Bantu-speaking males from three populations located in the southeast region of Africa. In an effort to determine the relative Y chromosomal affinities of these three genotyped populations, the findings are interpreted in the context of 74 geographically and ethnically targeted African reference populations representing four major ethno-linguistic groups (Afro-Asiatic, Niger Kordofanin, Khoisan and Pygmoid).

Genetic portrait of Majhi tribe of Chhattisgarh, India based on 15 autosomal STRs and 23 Y-STRs

The aim of this study was to contribute new data on autosomal STR and Y-STR markers of the Majhi tribal community of Chhattisgarh, a state of central India. In order to improve available databases of forensic interest, we analyzed 15 autosomal STR markers in a population sample of 129 unrelated indigenous Majhi tribe and 23 Y-chromosomal STR markers in the 107 males of the sample.

Natural underlying mtDNA heteroplasmy as a potential source of intra‐person hiPSC variability

Herein, we performed mtDNA next‐generation sequencing (NGS) on 84 hiPSC clones derived from a cohort of 19 individuals, including mitochondrial and non‐mitochondrial patients. The analysis of mtDNA variants showed that low levels of potentially pathogenic mutations in the original fibroblasts are revealed through nuclear reprogramming, generating mutant hiPSCs with a detrimental effect in their differentiated progeny.

Biohistorical materials and contemporary privacy concerns—The forensic case of King Albert I

The rapid advancement of technology in genomic analysis increasingly allows researchers to study human biohistorical materials. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to the privacy of the donor’s living relatives and the negative impact they might experience from the (public) availability of genetic results, even in cases of scientific, forensic or historical relevance. This issue has become clear during a cold case investigation of a relic attributed to Belgian King and World War I-hero Albert I who died, according to the official version, in a solo climbing accident in 1934.

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