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DNA lab to open in Glasgow Caledonian Univ. 2007

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Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 675
Location: Vancouver, WA USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: DNA lab to open in Glasgow Caledonian Univ. 2007 Reply with quote

I was happy to see an announcement about
a new DNA center in Scotland in 2007.
I imagine they will be in contact with
the National Geographic DNA project and our
FamilyTreeDNA labs in Houston, Texas,
so we can compare our previous results, too!
Will watch for further info...

Sunday Herald
October 29, 2006
Scotland's award-winning independent newspaper

New genealogy centre to create DNA library
By Judith Duffy, Health Correspondent

ESTABLISHING whether that stranger on the doorstep really is a
long-lost cousin has always been tricky … but that is now set to
change, thanks to a new genealogy centre in Scotland which will offer
DNA testing.

Experts at Glasgow Caledonian University are in the process of
setting up a unique service which will team up traditional family
search services with genetic profiling technology.

The centre, which will be launched next year, will help people from
around the world trace their Scottish roots and then offer the option
of verifying blood relatives through DNA testing. The team also aims
to carry out research which will eventually build up a genetic map of
the clans of Scotland, allowing people to look into their Celtic

Dr John Gow, director for forensic investigation at Caledonian, said
that it was hoped the service would boost Scottish tourism. “It
means that people with Scottish ancestors from around the world will be
able to come to Scotland and trace their records, and – if they
wish– we can make up their DNA profile for them,” he said.

“We will be able to tell Mr Campbell from New York if he is related
to Mr Campbell in Dunoon. We want to promote Glasgow Caledonian
University as a centre for Scottish genealogy worldwide.”

Work is under way to build a new forensic suite at the university
which will enable all types of DNA genealogy work to be undertaken.
The Y-chromosome test is used to define male lineage, while
mitochondrial DNA profiling can be used to help trace the maternal

The DNA is obtained using a mouth swab, and Gow said that it was
likely to cost around £60 per person, depending on the test. In
addition to the commercial side, academic research will also be
undertaken to try to establish genetic profiles of the clans of

Gow said several clan societies in America had already expressed
interest in this work. “We are going to develop individual DNA
databases for each clan,” he explained. “We are looking for
markers that are peculiar to a particular clan.” The venture will also
involve ancestral research company Scottish Roots and the 1745
Trading Company, a sales and marketing firm.

Tony Reid, a partner in Scottish Roots, said DNA testing was being
used increasingly in genealogy to overcome “brick walls”, when
people were unable to go further back than a particular point in their
research. He explained that although Scottish genealogical resources
were among the best in the world, before the introduction of
statutory civil registration in 1855 many people did not go to the
expense or trouble of registering marriages or baptisms.

“I believe DNA testing will be an increasingly important tool for
linking family trees prior to about the turn of the 18th/19th
century,” he said.

According to VisitScotland, more than 50 million people around the
world can claim Scottish roots, and ancestral tourism is a growing
trend, with Americans, Canadians and Australians most likely to visit
Scotland in search of their family history.

Fiona Stewart, VisitScotland’s PR manager for North America and
Asia Pacific, said there was huge potential in this area. “Developments
like Glasgow Caledonian University’s new centre are great news and
will help attract even more visitors,” she said.

Alan L Bain, president of the American Scottish Foundation, agreed
there was a great deal of interest in ancestral tourism, but added
that he hoped groups in Scotland would work together to provide the
best possible service for visitors.

But others warned that using DNA testing to establish family
relationships should be approached cautiously. Dr David King,
director of the watchdog group Human Genetics Alert, said it could
bring about “explosive” situations if, for example, someone had
been adopted without knowing it.

“People need to be informed properly about the risks of something
like that, otherwise people can end up with some very nasty
shocks,” he added.
Nancy Elder Petersen
Vancouver, WA USA
Host, ELDER DNA project
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