Breakthroughs in Genetic Research for Genealogy

Family Tree DNA's New Houston-Based Lab to Offer Latest in DNA Testing for

Genealogy Purposes, Including First X-Chromosome DNA Tests

Oct 12, 2006, 01:00 ET from Family Tree DNA

    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
     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 . For additional information or answers to
 specific questions, contact: or call 713-868-1438.

SOURCE Family Tree DNA