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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2017, 01:28:29 PM »

There are several topics I want to cover in this post, but they are all related.

Family Tree DNA has released its 98th SNP Pack, which is called, somewhat awkwardly, R1b-M343(xM269).  It is designed for those kits that are not in the major sub-branch of R1b, which is R-M269 and includes both of the major clusters of R-P312 and R-U106.  It is not clear to me how someone can know if their kit is not in R1b-M269, except possibly through STR emulation, that is, matching other kits' STR patterns and looking at what they have discovered in terms of their SNPs and then taking a calculated risk that they also are in one of the other branches.  It is on sale now for the typical price of $99.00.

The reality is that the R1b Haplogroup has literally exploded during the past couple of years and now has a massive number of branches from all the new SNPs discovered.  As a result, the new R1b-M343&M269v2 Backbone SNP Pack, which Family Tree DNA notified customers about last week, represents a necessary retreat.  The chip used for SNP Packs can only test for about 160 SNPs.  So, as the Haplotree broadens (and extends), some of the SNPs that were more advanced have to be sacrificed to cover newly discovered SNPs.  This has understandably caused considerable controversy and I am in the process of remapping this R1b Backbone to understand more fully the dimensions of this change.

Another sign of this expansion was the renaming also of two older SNP Packs.  The R1b-L48 and R1b-U106 SNP Packs are now called the R1b-L48xL47xZ8xZ236 and R1b-U106xZ18xZ156xL48 SNP Packs.  The "x" means that the sub-branches following are now excluded from those SNP Packs.  Again, this is because of the huge increase in the number of discovered SNPs and the branches that have now been identified.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #51 on: July 21, 2017, 01:41:39 PM »

All of the temporary price reductions for new SNP Packs have now expired.  This gives us an opportunity to see what the regular prices will be apparently and there is more variation in those than there has been in the past.

Most SNP Packs still cost $119.00 regularly.  There are five that are special though.

   
E-L674            $230.00
   
I1-M253            $99.00
   
J1-M267v3         $99.00
   
Q-Backbone       $39.00
   
R1b-Backbone    $99.00

The first one is a Middle Eastern-oriented SNP Pack and was apparently costly to research and develop.  The I1, Q and R1b SNP Packs are all Backbone packs, whether they say that or not.  The I1 Pack in particular is quite good in covering the branches of that part of the yDNA Haplogroup I.  The Q Backbone, mostly for the Native American population, contains far fewer SNPs in it, thus the lower cost.  The R1b Backbone is the second Version and I frankly do not like it as well as the first one because they have used the limited number of test slots (160) in ways I do not agree should be done in a Backbone -- to study early phylogenetic equivalents, to reward those who have been involved in genetic genealogy for a long time and done a lot of testing by testing for one or more of their advanced SNPs, and to study extensively a relatively minor branch that had been neglected.  These distort the meaning of a Backbone SNP Pack and have been quite controversial.  The result of "taxing" this Pack for special purposes has been to reduce either the number or depth of the identified SNPs for people who are just beginning to discover their SNP sequence and have decided not to order a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) test.  I am told the J1 Pack is for the owner's family, although I do not know if that is true or not.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2017, 02:40:13 PM »

Family Tree DNA, perhaps temporarily, has withdrawn the relatively new R1b-M343(xM269) SNP Pack for some reason.

This was the SNP Pack that tested for SNPs outside of the main R-M269 branch that includes the two large sub-branches of R-P312 and R-U106 that most R1b men are on.

This reduces the number outstanding SNP Packs at Family Tree DNA to 97.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2017, 04:34:09 PM »

Family Tree has released eight new SNP Pack in yDNA Haplogroups I1 and I2, bringing the total number of SNP Packs now available to 105.  The eight new ones, all on sale during an introductory period at $99.00, are:

I1-DF29xZ58xZ63xCTS6364
I1-L1302
I1-PR683
I2-CTS1977xFGC32295
I2-CTS6433xS2364
I2-M284xL126
I2-S2361
I2-Y16963

Some of these are for advanced SNPs, but others are in the relatively new "X Pack" style, which is simply an efficient way to name a pack that covers several smaller branches instead of the main one or ones.  All of these, like the ones in the past, are highly specialized and therefore it would be wise to discuss them with an advanced Haplogroup administrator in that section of the yDNA Haplotree before ordering one.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2017, 04:04:44 PM »

Family Tree DNA has reintroduced the J1-Al-Mubailesh SNP Pack.  Perhaps because this is a reintroduction, the price is the standard $119.00.  This brings the total number of SNP Packs available at Family Tree DNA to 106.

As far as I know, no one in our Project can utilize this SNP Pack.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2017, 03:46:55 AM »

After reintroducing the J1-Al-Mubailesh SNP Pack on 5 September 2017, it was once again deleted on 28 September.

Now, two more SNP Packs have also been deleted, R1b-Z156 and R1b-Z326, bringing the total number of SNP Packs now available down to 103.

In addition, around the time that the year-end Sale began, and unannounced as far as I know, the prices of the SNP Packs changed apparently.  Most of them are now $101.00, down from $119.00.  The E-L674 SNP Pack is now $195.00.  The I1-M253, J1-M263v3 and the R1b-M343&M269v2 Backbone SNP Packs are now $84.00 each.  And the Q-Backbone SNP Pack is $33.00.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #56 on: November 18, 2017, 02:12:58 AM »

Family Tree DNA has now added a 104th SNP Pack - R1b-M343(xM269).  This means that is for the M343 Clade, but excludes the huge M269 sub-branch.  The small sub-branches that this would test for would include M73, the sister to M269, V1636, V88 and PH155.

Currently, the price shown for this SNP Pack is $119.00, which makes me wonder if this might be a glitch since that has been the standard price of SNP Packs in the past and they have usually be introduced at a price of $99.00.  Furthermore, most SNP Packs are currently being sold at $101.00.
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