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Marilyn Teaff Barton
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« on: October 12, 2006, 03:43:00 PM »

Thursday October 12, 9:30 am ET?
Family Tree DNA's New Houston-Based Lab to Offer Latest in DNA Testing for Genealogy Purposes, Including First X-Chromosome DNA Tests


HOUSTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Family Tree DNA, whose growing array of DNA tests for genealogical purposes has established them as the world leader in genetic genealogy, will introduce ground-breaking new X chromosome tests (X-STR) in early October. The X-STR tests are the first ever available for genealogy applications by focusing on linked "haplotype blocks" which are inherited intact over several generations. This test will be processed locally at the company's recently established Genomic Research Center. Headed by Thomas Krahn, whose German-based DNA-Fingerprint company was recently merged into Family Tree DNA, the state of the art Genomic Research Center is located at Family Tree DNA's Houston, Texas headquarters.

Krahn, a graduate of the Technical University of Berlin, is an expert in developing new molecular biological methods to resolve questions in biological heritage. Since 2003, DNA-Fingerprint specialized in more complex ancestry testing. This will give Family Tree DNA the ability to increase its current 67-marker Y-DNA test, the highest resolution Y-DNA test offered by any company in the world today, to over 100 Y-DNA markers.

Additionally, the new lab has allowed Family Tree DNA to significantly lower the price of its Full Mitochondria Genomic Sequence (FGS), which it began to make available a year ago. The Full Mitochondria Genomic Sequence is the last mtDNA test that anyone will ever need to take because it encompasses the entire molecule (all 16,659 base pairs) and is clearly the emerging platform for all Anthropology testing. The new lab also affords the capability to offer testing for CODIS markers for those who want to compare test results against existing databases of these universally used markers, including biographical databases.

Family Tree DNA has been able to cement its position at the forefront of genetic genealogy by continually advancing the science that enables genealogists around the world to expand their families' research and to fill the gap between genealogy and anthropology. The company has surpassed 112,000 individual entries in its genealogical database, roughly 78,000 Y-DNA (male) test records and 34,000 mtDNA (male and female) records, making each of these the largest DNA databases for genealogical purposes in the world. They also administer over 3500 individual surname projects comprising nearly 56,000 unique surnames.

Family Tree DNA has continually upgraded the tests it offers since it began operations in May, 2000 and first made Y-DNA and mtDNA testing available for genealogical purposes. The new X-STR tests, which focus on the X chromosome contained in both men and women, will broaden the possibilities for complex kinship testing. Studying the X chromosome will allow for the development of testing for other types of relationships than the tests the company currently has available; for example, siblingship testing when the father is not available. All databases are freely accessible to customers to view using their unique ID number and PIN Code.

In addition to its comprehensive databases that offer comparisons with hundreds of nationalities from around the world and placement into the most likely of the distinct branches of the family tree of Homo sapiens documented in the world, Family Tree DNA is the designated DNA testing firm selected by National Geographic for all public participants for its five-year Genographic Project to study the migrations of mankind. Now in its second year of research, over 160,000 DNA test kits have been sold under this Project's auspices. Family Tree DNA has recently been featured in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times and on NBC-TV's Today Show.

To learn more about Family Tree DNA and its services, please visit http://www.familytreeDNA.com.


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