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FTDNA flags goodbye to "longhand" haplogroup designations

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  • FTDNA flags goodbye to "longhand" haplogroup designations

    New message on your FTDNA Y-haplotree page:

    Long time customers of Family Tree DNA have seen the YCC-tree of Homo Sapiens evolve over the past several years as new SNPs have been discovered. Sometimes these new SNPs cause a substantial change in the "longhand" explanation of your terminal Haplogroup. Because of this confusion, we introduced a shorthand version a few years ago that lists the branch of the tree and your terminal SNP, i.e. J-L147, in lieu of J1c3d. Therefore, in the very near term, Family Tree DNA will discontinue showing the current "longhand" on the tree and we will focus all of our discussions around your terminal defining SNP.

    This changes no science - it just provides an easier and less confusing way for us all to communicate.

    Bennett Greenspan, Family Tree DNA
    Dr. Michael Hammer, University of Arizona

  • #2
    Originally posted by gtc View Post
    New message on your FTDNA Y-haplotree page:

    Long time customers of Family Tree DNA have seen the YCC-tree of Homo Sapiens evolve over the past several years as new SNPs have been discovered. Sometimes these new SNPs cause a substantial change in the "longhand" explanation of your terminal Haplogroup. Because of this confusion, we introduced a shorthand version a few years ago that lists the branch of the tree and your terminal SNP, i.e. J-L147, in lieu of J1c3d. Therefore, in the very near term, Family Tree DNA will discontinue showing the current "longhand" on the tree and we will focus all of our discussions around your terminal defining SNP.

    This changes no science - it just provides an easier and less confusing way for us all to communicate.

    Bennett Greenspan, Family Tree DNA
    Dr. Michael Hammer, University of Arizona
    But how will you deal with paragroups. I am a member of a J2a* cluster (at the Y dna J Project) which is not the same as J2a (M410). Members of my cluster have tested negative for all known SNPs downstream of M410. Listing all the SNPs for which we have negative tests is hardly shorthand.
    Josh

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    • #3
      Thanks for posting this. I was curious what was going on with the haplotree page. Since none of the SNPs I've tested were on the 2008 YCC tree, I just have this message: "Once your results come in, this page will contain your Haplotree." Sadness.

      Originally posted by josh w. View Post
      But how will you deal with paragroups?
      Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume that FTDNA would just report J-M410 for everyone who hasn't tested for any SNPs downstream of M410 regardless of whether they are straight up J2a*, whether their next SNP downstream of M410 hasn't been discovered yet, or whether they simply haven't ordered any tests downstream of M410. That doesn't seem too ambiguous since the above three examples would all be reported as J2a in longhand anyway.

      This is sort of off topic, but what I want to know is why mtDNA haplogroups aren't written using the terminal SNP too. Assuming each branch is characterized by at least one unique SNP, wouldn't it make sense to write (for example) my haplogroup as H-14365T?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AJRL View Post
        Thanks for posting this. I was curious what was going on with the haplotree page. Since none of the SNPs I've tested were on the 2008 YCC tree, I just have this message: "Once your results come in, this page will contain your Haplotree." Sadness.


        Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume that FTDNA would just report J-M410 for everyone who hasn't tested for any SNPs downstream of M410 regardless of whether they are straight up J2a*, whether their next SNP downstream of M410 hasn't been discovered yet, or whether they simply haven't ordered any tests downstream of M410. That doesn't seem too ambiguous since the above three examples would all be reported as J2a in longhand anyway.

        This is sort of off topic, but what I want to know is why mtDNA haplogroups aren't written using the terminal SNP too. Assuming each branch is characterized by at least one unique SNP, wouldn't it make sense to write (for example) my haplogroup as H-14365T?

        But how would they report people who have tested negatively for downstream SNPs. There is a difference between people who have tested negatively for downstream SNPs (J2a*) and people who have simply not tested for downstream SNPs (J2a). What will happen to the J2a* category which is a 'longhand' designation----will it be replaced by M410 followed by a laundry list of SNPs that were not found in testing. Will J2a* simply be reduced to M410 which completely ignores testing results.
        Last edited by josh w.; 24th September 2012, 07:51 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by josh w. View Post
          But how would they report people who have tested negatively for downstream SNPs.
          The same way they do now. Each of your specifically tested SNPs will continue to be shown.

          This initiative is simply doing away with the alphanumeric strings which have already become unwieldy -- look at mine in my signature -- and with Geno 2.0 they promise to become even longer. Imagine trying to read a scientific paper that made numerous references to strings of 30 or more characters long.

          There is a difference between people who have tested negatively for downstream SNPs (J2a*) and people who have simply not tested for downstream SNPs (J2a). What will happen to the J2a* category which is a 'longhand' designation----will it be replaced by M410 followed by a laundry list of SNPs that were not found in testing. Will J2a* simply be reduced to M410 which completely ignores testing results.
          The shorthand says what you are, not what you aren't. If your terminal SNP is M410 then J-M410 is "officially" what you are under the present shorthand convention.

          If you write J-M410* then that already denotes that you have been tested negative for all known downstream SNPs. I expect that convention will continue.

          And there will always be a tree diagram of one sort or another to depict the haplogroup hierarchical structure, but under this initiative it won't be labeled with the alphanumeric strings at the node points.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think this is a great improvement. Almost all the R1b groups have been doing it this way for a while now. I moved from U152* to Z36* over a year ago - and I never really did care for the old designation anyway. Way too cumbersome!

            I'm also hopeful that the new terminalogy comes with the haplotree update "in the very near term."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by gtc View Post
              The same way they do now. Each of your specifically tested SNPs will continue to be shown.

              This initiative is simply doing away with the alphanumeric strings which have already become unwieldy -- look at mine in my signature -- and with Geno 2.0 they promise to become even longer. Imagine trying to read a scientific paper that made numerous references to strings of 30 or more characters long.



              The shorthand says what you are, not what you aren't. If your terminal SNP is M410 then J-M410 is "officially" what you are under the present shorthand convention.

              If you write J-M410* then that already denotes that you have been tested negative for all known downstream SNPs. I expect that convention will continue.

              And there will always be a tree diagram of one sort or another to depict the haplogroup hierarchical structure, but under this initiative it won't be labeled with the alphanumeric strings at the node points.
              OK as long as M410* is recognized as distinct from M410. My cluster has a long list of negative testing results--- at least 6 SNPs plus a historically important DYS value.
              The alternative is to eliminate the notion of a paragroup (positive results for upstream SNPs and negative results for known downstream SNPS). My paragroup cluster may be of historical significance since it may have been one of the earliest Jewish J2a groups as well as one of the earliest Middle Eastern J2a groups.. It would be a shame to lose this information.

              I understand the reasons for going to the 'shorthand' version. I am simply asking for a modification or exception regarding paragroups.
              Last edited by josh w.; 25th September 2012, 09:21 AM.

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              • #8
                Actually the old system is preferable up to a point. Who can remember all those terminals? Knowing if somebody is in the R1A versus R1B is valuable information. I'd prefer it if they included the first three characters or so of the longhand designation and then the terminal. That seems like a reasonable compromise.

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                • #9
                  I agree completely. By and large the terminal SNPs are only going to be known or recognized by the people within that haplogroup. But the terminal SNP-only system won't tell you what haplogroup we're talking about - very disorienting.


                  Originally posted by 1_mke View Post
                  Actually the old system is preferable up to a point. Who can remember all those terminals? Knowing if somebody is in the R1A versus R1B is valuable information. I'd prefer it if they included the first three characters or so of the longhand designation and then the terminal. That seems like a reasonable compromise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Josh, 1_mke, Dwight, I voiced the same comments on the 23 Forum last week. As you can see from my revised signature, I've done what I can to provide a little more identifying info for the J haps than just the terminal SNPs. I'm waiting for the GENO2.0 results before I do any more SNP testing for any of the kits I manage.

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                    • #11
                      Not to mention that everyone thinks if your L21 you must be Irish! Lol
                      But I guess thats a different sort of issue.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 1_mke View Post
                        Actually the old system is preferable up to a point. Who can remember all those terminals? Knowing if somebody is in the R1A versus R1B is valuable information. I'd prefer it if they included the first three characters or so of the longhand designation and then the terminal. That seems like a reasonable compromise.
                        Those three-character designators are apt to change; that's the problem. It is felt that the single-letter, y-haplogroup major branch designator, e.g., I or R, etc., is less likely to change and so is more stable.

                        I am R-DF41, for example. All one has to do is go to the ISOGG R Tree and slide on down it until he finds DF41. Having "R1b" in front of DF41 instead of R might help a little, but it isn't all that much more useful really.

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                        • #13
                          If I understand this correctly, I will be :

                          T1a2b in ISOGG and

                          T-L446+ in FTDNA

                          is this correct?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stevo View Post
                            Those three-character designators are apt to change; that's the problem. It is felt that the single-letter, y-haplogroup major branch designator, e.g., I or R, etc., is less likely to change and so is more stable.

                            I am R-DF41, for example. All one has to do is go to the ISOGG R Tree and slide on down it until he finds DF41. Having "R1b" in front of DF41 instead of R might help a little, but it isn't all that much more useful really.
                            Moving to a more technical system will reduce the size of the potential audience. This may be a natural trend in science but it comes at a cost. As Vinnie has suggested, a hybrid system would be easier for the non-expert to understand.
                            Last edited by josh w.; 26th September 2012, 06:21 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bartot View Post
                              If I understand this correctly, I will be :

                              T1a2b in ISOGG and

                              T-L446+ in FTDNA

                              is this correct?
                              The + is redundant in this format as + is assumed for your terminal SNP, so it's T-L446.

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