Thursday, June 19, 2008

Article on Adoptees Using DNA to find their father's surname

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) web site has an interesting article titled "Adoptees use DNA to find Surname" by Paul Rincon, the Science Reporter for BBC News, published on 18 June 2008.

The key paragraphs are:

"Male adoptees are using consumer DNA tests to predict the surnames carried by their biological fathers, the BBC has learned.

"They are using the fact that men who share a surname sometimes have genetic likenesses too.

"By searching DNA databases for other males with genetic markers matching their own, adoptees can check if these men also share a last name.

"This can provide the likely surname of an adoptee's biological father."

and ...

"... Mr Greenspan said that, for some adoptees, discovering the surname of their birth father in any other way might be extremely difficult, or even impossible.

"'That's the real miracle of the DNA test. [The Y chromosome] can act in a sense like a silver bullet.' he said."

Reading this, it looks like they have the technical details correct. That's good!

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