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Ian McDonald's 2017 STR marker mutation rate schedule

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  • Ian McDonald's 2017 STR marker mutation rate schedule

    I'm interested in finding an authoritative source--like an academic paper--for what is purported to be a schedule of STR loci mutation rates originally published by Ian McDonald in 2017.

    I've already seen a couple of DNA project websites that list the relevant values, but I'm looking for something specifically published by McDonald himself. Strangely, none of the sources I've seen for this data quote the title of any paper or journal. On average, the rates are quite a bit higher than other iterations I've seen, with a lower standard deviation. I'm not questioning the accuracy of the data I've seen, I'd just like to have some kind of formal citation, if not a copy of the original paper.

  • #2
    Following the link you cited, I ended up with this:
    • Iain McDonald, University of Manchester, Unpublished average of rates reported by Heinila (2012), Burgarella et al. (2011) and Willems et al. (2016) [Yahoo Group: R1b1c_U106-S21/2017-09]
    I hope this helps!


    • #3

      I wanted to see the direct statement from McDonald, but if I understand the citation correctly, that may not be possible. They're saying that this was from a Yahoo Group posting in September 2017, right? If I understand correctly, the Yahoo stuff is no longer available online, so I guess I'll never get to see the original post.

      I also notice that the two lists don't agree with one another--for example, the Collins website gives DYS 435 as 0.001693333 and the Ferguson website gives it as 0.000910. That's a problem.

      The Ferguson version of the Iain McDonald figures are only only a couple hundred thousandths of a percentage points off from the Heinila rates, rather than the roughly 3/100ths of a percentage points implied by the Collins website. Seems too way too high of a difference.

      From what I can tell, Colin Ferguson adapted a whole new version of the McGee Y Utility around his rates, and very sensibly documented a detailed chronological development chronology along with it. It conveys the impression that a lot of care was taken.

      The "I. McDonald" option returns figures consistent with the figures published on the Ferguson website, so I'm going out on a limb and say that those are more likely to be correct.


      • #4
        Maybe another point that could be important--although I've seen these rate sets cited as "McDonald 2017" or some variant thereof, the language from that Ferguson website may indicate that really just be the averaging of figures from academic papers by several other researchers. That is, these figures are not necessarily the results of direct studies by Iain McDonald, but just a simple averaging of results from other researchers. Something anybody could have done without any special techniques, provided they had access to the several academic papers.