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  • Why my results are not back yet?

    As you know, Family Tree DNA always tries to do its best to have the results delivered on time, as much as we can. However, since we are not dealing with a product that is "off the shelf", but in fact needs to undergo different chemical processes, it's natural to have a certain rate of failure during different stages of the process. We explain this in each individual's personal page.
    But still, we are constantly pushing the lab to improve their success rates. In my latest exchange with the head of the lab last week, I received an e-mail that I would like to share with you. While his points will not make us rest in our pursuit of excellence, it can certainly give you a better understanding of the lab work, and therefore, I thought it would be interesting to post it here:

    "As I have indicated some time ago, biology is a plus or minus 3% activity (I lecture on this topic in my courses). This results from a lot of factors, including but not limited to species variability, the liability of biological materials, and the empirical nature of most biological assays, that is, instead of spending months or years working out the optimal conditions for a particular assay, biologists generally go with what works most of the time and press on. Bottom line, a 3% failure rate is inherent, that, is 30 out of every 1,000 assays (genomic, enzymatic, whatever) will misbehave in some way. I believe, by working on the optimization of assays, implementing robotics and clever applications of computing technologies, and hiring high quality people (all things we already have in place), we can reduce the failure frequency to less than 2%, but am not sanguine that we can do much better than that unless we do everything in triplicate (or more) and invest hugely in optimization. I can tell you that in my own research, we often repeat tests 8 to 16 times (statistically one should average 2 to the nth power, 2, 4, 8, 16 etc), but never do better than plus or minus 3% (often worse). Nevertheless, I am committed to push as far below 2% as possible. Note that hospital clinical labs would kill for a 2% error frequency (false positives and false negatives for example, which are often in the 5-10% range). I know how painful it is to deal with the 2% or so of customers the get caught up in the reality of the process, but it is inherent to the technology (as is medicine). I believe that we at the lab (the scientific community) and you at FTDNA's business office need to do a much better job of educating the public to the realities of genetic testing, clinical testing in general, drug side effects (which are typically in the 3-5% range), etc. If we do this, we will have done a significant public service and reduced substantially the number of unhappy customers."

    So, I appreciate the patience of those that are in the 2-3% that he is mentioning above. Our rates of undelivered results after 2 months fall to less than 1%, and that's pretty good. Again, this won't make us rest and stop pursuying 100% success within the shortest possible time frame, but I can tell you that highly regarded people in the scientific community, unrelated to Family Tree DNA, were impressed with our overall success rates after the first run.

    As always, we appreciate your continued support.
    Max Blankfeld
    Vice-President and COO @ Family Tree DNA
    A Gene by Gene Company

  • #2
    If a sample has to be re-run, should we get a new target date.?

    Some might think their results are just a day or 2 away?

    Maybe there are just too many people to notify individually.?

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    • #3
      We have a system in place that posts a message to that effect in the personal page, with new expected dates. This system was just updated to send automatic e-mails when we update it, and as of the end of this week this will become a standard procedure.
      Max Blankfeld
      Vice-President and COO @ Family Tree DNA
      A Gene by Gene Company

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      • #4
        I think that wiill be a big help.

        Thanks

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        • #5
          Originally posted by admin
          We have a system in place that posts a message to that effect in the personal page, with new expected dates.
          This must be very new. My mtDNA tests from batch 143 still show an expected date of 5/3.

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          • #6
            mine too..22/5...but we are nearing the end of the week..

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            • #7
              like i said they will be here soon

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              • #8
                Well hello there again Mr. Denning... still spreading good cheer I see! You may be well aware of the process that goes on to generate results when one submits a kit to FTDNA but I think there may be many people out there who don't have the benefit of your insight. They are good people and, when well informed, can be as patient and understanding as the lab techs would wish them to be.

                Molecular biology for the masses - who would ever thought such a thing would be possible? FTDNA deserves applause for even attempting such a thing and even more since they have done it so well. In the end though, it is still a difficult exercise in molecular biology and an area of science that few understand. It's commendable that such talented and highly skilled individuals would take the time to explain, in layman's terms, how this miracle of science is performed and what possible problems could occur to delay results.

                I especially appreciate the e-mail from the head of the lab that admin shared with us:

                I believe that we at the lab (the scientific community) and you at FTDNA's business office need to do a much better job of educating the public to the realities of genetic testing, clinical testing in general, drug side effects (which are typically in the 3-5% range), etc. If we do this, we will have done a significant public service and reduced substantially the number of unhappy customers.
                This is almost exactly what I e-mailed to Mr. Greenspan a while back. Any effort to better educate the customer simply can not go wrong. My test has already come back and so I won't benefit from the recent improvements that admin mentioned but there's plenty of other first-timers out there... I would like nothing better than to see them have an even nicer experience with FTDNA than I did! I'm very glad to see a step in that direction - keep up the good work!

                By the way, I'm a proud member of the Batch 147 Alumni. I'm sure you heard of us, we've caused so much trouble in the forums and gave poor Mr Denning such a hard time!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good Morning,
                  I am glad to see the positive repercussions of my initial posting.
                  I just checked with out IT about the notification system, and we have a glitch that is preventing the entire message to be sent out. We are fixing the glitch an the notification system will be in place next week. We are sorry about this slight delay. Not always things work as smoothly as we would like them to work.....

                  Thank you!
                  Max Blankfeld
                  Vice-President and COO @ Family Tree DNA
                  A Gene by Gene Company

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    great....thanks for the update.

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                    • #11
                      The latest on the delays...

                      Here's the latest I received by e-mail:

                      "Hello Dan,

                      We’ll be changing these dates over the next week. We’re having a lot of trouble getting M37 and P66 to work properly, so we don’t have a firm date by which we expect the results to arrive; first we are attempting several different methods to get these two SNPs to work, and once we have them working we’ll run everyone for them.

                      E-mail any time,
                      Eileen Krause
                      Anthrogenealogy Response Center
                      Family Tree DNA
                      http://www.familytreedna.com
                      713-868-1438"

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                      • #12
                        At least you got an e-mail...

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                        • #13
                          Message

                          She's always good and answers the same or next day...

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for bringing your findings so us Batchlings can get a little insight.

                            Your email you posted was a reply. So sometimes you just have to ask first.

                            Just look for a Family Tree contact email address if you want an email response.

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                            • #15
                              Latest news...

                              "Hello Dan,

                              The news is still the same for the Deep Clade R1b test—ask me again in a couple of weeks and I’ll let you know if the lab was able to successfully calibrate and verify M37 and P66 (we want to make sure they are working properly before we start running everyone for them). We’ve already received about a third of the results for batch 146 on the upgrades to 67 markers. It’s a very large batch but we expect to receive the remainder during this week.

                              E-mail any time,
                              Eileen Krause
                              Anthrogenealogy Response Center
                              Family Tree DNA
                              http://www.familytreedna.com
                              713-868-1438"

                              Comment

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