I received this press release from Max Blankfeld of FamilyTreeDNA today. It's interesting to me for both the DNA aspects and the fact that one of the half-brothers is a San Diego Charger football player:
Until a few months ago, Xavier Omon, from the San Francisco 49ers and Ogemdi Nwagbuo from the San Diego Chargers did not have a clue that they were related. Early August, at the request of ESPN, Family Tree DNA performed the Family Finder test on both, and the result was unequivocal: definitely half-siblings. More of the story can be found at the ESPN website, under the “Brother’s Tale” story [titled A brothers' tale for Omon, Nwagbuo.].
The Family Finder test allows connecting with family members across all ancestral lines. While the Y-DNA matches men with a specific paternal line and the mtDNA finds potential relatives only along the maternal line, Family Finder can look for close relationships along all ancestral lines. Anyone, regardless of their gender, may confidently match to male and female cousins from any of their family lines in the past five generations. The science is based on linked blocks of DNA across the 22 autosomal chromosomes that are matched between two people.
Based on this concept, Family Tree DNA bioinformatics team has worked extensively to develop the calculations that would yield the closeness of the relationship.
The possibilities to find matches abound: grandparents, aunts and uncles; half siblings; first, second, third and fourth cousins; and, more tentatively, fifth cousins.
About Family Tree DNA
Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes, something that had previously been available only for academic and scientific research. Almost a decade later, the Houston-based company has a database with over 345,000 individual records – the largest DNA database in genetic genealogy, and a number that makes Family Tree DNA the prime source for anyone researching recent and distant family ties. In 2006 Family Tree DNA established a state of the art Genomics Research Center at its headquarters in Houston, Texas, where it currently performs R&D and processes over 200 advanced types of DNA tests for its customers.