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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended February 02, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 05Feb01

By Vickie Speek

BYU DNA/Genealogy Research Gets Samples From Florida Genealogical Group

SARASOTA, FLORIDA -- At least 250 members of the Bradenton-based Manasota Genealogical Society will participate this month in a world wide DNA research project sponsored by Brigham Young University. Members hope to become part of a huge study that will match genes from each donor to the continents, nations, and villages where their ancestors lived. BYU researchers have taken blood samples from 14,000 donors in the United States since last March, and plan to take blood samples from 100,000 people in the next three to five years.

But the gene study has sparked a debate in Florida over DNA discrimination, and raised questions about protecting the donors identification. Researchers have promised they won't release an individual's DNA information to anyone except the donor, however, some people worry that the promises could be forgotten by future leaders. They also worry that the study's results could be misinterpreted and be used to stereotype people of certain ethnic backgrounds.

Others say the BYU study has amazing promise that could link some Americans to the exact village where their forefathers were born. It could also help people find their ancestors even when the historical documents have been lost or destroyed.

The BYU researchers are beginning nationwide stops that will include visits in Port Charlotte, Sarasota and Largo. Then it's on to Idaho, Washington,Utah and California. Anyone donating blood must also be able to trace their lineage back four generations to help link genes to family history.


Ancestry research runs in the blood
Sarasota FL Herald-Tribune 28Jan01 N6
By Eric Alan Barton: Staff Writer


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