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  • step mutations

    Hello folks-


    So far I cannot locate an explanantion for the "step mutations" in my REO and Haplogroup tables. What are they and why are there differences from step to step? Are the steps time related, generation related?

    Thanks in advance for any explanations..

  • #2
    Originally posted by sasauter
    Hello folks-


    So far I cannot locate an explanantion for the "step mutations" in my REO and Haplogroup tables. What are they and why are there differences from step to step? Are the steps time related, generation related?

    Thanks in advance for any explanations..
    For the sake of simplicity I often find that analogies help alot in our understanding of abstract concepts. Right now I'm thinking about an analogy.

    Imagine that everyone of us has a number of collars each made up of a number of beads. Each collar has its own name and place so there's a way to distinguish every collar. We inherit all our collars from our immediate ancestor and in turn we pass those same collars to our descendants.

    Now think of each locus (or marker) as one of those collars. When your locus (or marker) DYS393 has a value of 13, you can imagine that the corresponding collar in our analogy has 13 beads and so on for each of the other markers.

    But once in many generations (statistically about every 500 generations) in passing the collars from one generation to the next you can gain or lose a bead in one of your collars. Which means that there's going to be one step of genetic distance from one generation to the other. All descendants from that individual who got a plus or a minus bead will then pass on the same collars until a new mutation occurs. In this way you can also compare the numbers of beads in your collars to those of other individuals and determine how far back you may have a common ancestor.

    Forgive me for using such a silly example. It was just the thought of the moment. Hope it doesn't confuse you even more.

    Victor

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