Thursday afternoon at RootsTech, Dr. Paul Maier, Population Geneticist for Family Tree DNA presented a sneak peek at their ethnicity product, myOrigins 3.0.
I’m glad to be out from under non-disclosure now so I can talk about version 3, as this update promises to be amazing in more ways than one.
Dr. Maier provided the following information.
MyOrigins 2, the current version utilized 24 different populations.
MyOrigins 3, the upcoming version will utilize 90 populations. The coverage has increased dramatically.
For example, the Americas increased from 2 populations in the current version to 9 in the new version.
For me, this is personally very exciting!
Chromosome Ethnicity Painting
Another new feature is ethnicity chromosome painting. Paul provided this example of an African-American individual who has both African and European heritage. The pinks represent various regions of Africa, and the blues European regions.
Drum roll please!!! The slide above is my DNA. I have three native segments identified. I’ve known about the segments on chromosome 1 and 2 for a long time, but the segment on chromosome 13 is new, and not previously identified by any other testing company. Yes, I’ve been part of the beta testing.
Additionally, your segment locations (via a download) will be available to you in order that you can do segment matching.
At Family Tree DNA your matching includes, and will continue to include ethnicity if people opt-in to sharing their ethnicity with matches. The addition of segment information offers another genealogy tool. In other words, if you and a match both have Native ancestry, and both match on a common identified Native segment, that suggests a specific common ancestor from whom that segment descended.
If you triangulate on that same ancestor with multiple people and can identify common ancestors, you may be able to track that segment back several generations and you’ll be able to identify which line! How cool is that!!!
Finally, you can test the appropriate descendants of those ancestors for Y and mitochondrial DNA, or check existing projects to see if someone from that line has already tested in order to positively identify your Native ancestor.
Of course, I’m using “Native” here as an example, because I have minority Native ancestry, but this technique holds for any segments.
Ethnicity chromosome painting and segment matching is another tool in the genetic genealogists’ arsenal.
Dr. Maier didn’t say exactly when the new MyOrigins version 3 would be rolled out, but very soon. Stay tuned.
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