World Families Forums - Should ISOGG and FTDNA coin a new term? VEP not UEP.

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Author Topic: Should ISOGG and FTDNA coin a new term? VEP not UEP.  (Read 325 times)
Mike Walsh
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« on: August 06, 2012, 09:42:49 AM »

... I'm fine with that, so the only remaining question is this a very stable Unique Event Polymorphism (UEP)? I think the concept of a UEP is somewhat false, from a technical standpoint, but it is important to know if something is very stable.

SNPs at a single location on the Y chromosome can and do occur more than once "in an eternity." That means there really is no such thing as a Unique Event Polymorphism, or UEP. Ken Nordtvedt has long said the whole concept was foolish.

The researchers are evaluating the stability of SNPs so perhaps they need to start using a term more appropriate to what they are evaluating, perhaps "Very stable Event Polymorphism" (VEP)?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 02:56:19 PM by Mikewww » Logged

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vineviz
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 10:26:26 AM »

In the context of genetics, "unique" and "very stable" are already synonyms.

UEPs are not literally unique in the colloquial sense of that word (e.g. "existing as the only one or as the sole example") and I don't think most most geneticists have ever thought that they were.  Rather, UEPs are events that are stable enough for them to be phylogenetically useful.

On the other hand, I do feel your pain:  settling a rigorous standard that allows us settle question about which SNPs are phylogenetically useful and which are not is a challenging one.  I do think that ISOGG should be open to considering any DNA mutation to be a UEP so long as it can be shown to be reliable enough in the context.

E.g. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GENEALOGY-DNA/2007-02/1170707802
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 10:30:19 AM by vineviz » Logged
Mike Walsh
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 02:59:39 PM »

,,,
On the other hand, I do feel your pain:  settling a rigorous standard that allows us settle question about which SNPs are phylogenetically useful and which are not is a challenging one.  I do think that ISOGG should be open to considering any DNA mutation to be a UEP so long as it can be shown to be reliable enough in the context...

I agree on both points. My wish list would include a stability "rating" for each SNP and a method to mark subclades in phylogenetic trees that support a relation of two more mutation or some other unusual status rather than a single SNP.  Mutations should be considered in context anyway.
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