QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2007-12 > 1198219660
From: "D. O'" <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] DNA testing and question regarding belief not an exactscience
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 06:47:40 +0000
Mona's reply reminded me of a program re a person needing a kidney transplant. All but one ember of the family were tested to see who might be a match. None were, but a brother living elsewhere returned to the home in order to be tested. When that was done, the doctor announced that this brother did not have the same mother as his siblings. Both mother and father knew doctor was wrong and went through several areas of testing until one young doctor in another location remembered something and did more testing. Sure enough the son was in the right family with the right mother but he should have been a twin but that did not develop and his body absorbed the DNA of the other cell and that caused an alteration.
Sorry that i cannot remember the doctor, the city, or the TV program for verification.
> Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 23:51:27 -0500
> Subject: Re: [Q-R] DNA testing and question regarding belief not an exact science
> Hello Debra,
> Yes, fathers have been making payments based on probabilities. It is a
> characteristic of the American - and Canadian - legal systems that in
> civil matters, proof is a matter of balance of probabilities.
> However, DNA testing as it is presently being marketed to genealogists
> is nothing more than hogwash pseudo-science. But, by all means, don't
> take my word for it. Ask Dr. Spencer WELLS. He is the geneticist in
> charge of the Genographic Project for National Geographic. In a recent
> interview for an investigative journalism show on Canadian television,
> he plain came out and said as much.
> He explained that the human body is made up of cell each of which
> contains between 30,000 to 40,000 genes.
> That most of these genes can also be found in other animals, only a few
> thousand are exclusively found in humans.
> All humans possess 46 chromosomes organized in 23 pairs, on which
> thousands of genes are arranged in long strands like little beads on a
> necklace, which carry the hereditary, genetic coding of each individual
> human. Any one of these strands of genetic material, if they were
> unwound, would stretch for over six feet in length.
> That, because one side of every pair is inherited either from mom or
> from dad, there is a lot of genetic shuffling going on from one
> generation to the next.
> Only part of this genetic material is passed down "unshuffled" from
> parent to child. And that even then, mutations can and do occur so that
> it is sometimes impossible to "prove" a blood link between two
> individuals even though one truly exists.
> Typically, the DNA-testing companies advertising their wares to
> consumers only examine a very small fraction of the relevant DNA you
> supply, around 9 to 20 DNA markers. They then make assumptions based on
> whatever material they have in their database, which is mostly made up
> of DNA sample from still living individuals. Not only is the sequencing
> inadequate, the interpretation of the results also tends to rely on
> assumptions rather than deductions.
> Hardly exact science, that. But, hey, it's your money...
> Debra wrote:
>> I am wondering what qualifications the author has who states it is not an exact science but rather probabilities. So have all these fathers been making child support payments based on probabilities and the courts accepted it. That would be huge. I am not looking for an argument, but facts. I thought that was a huge sweeping statement, but if it can be backed up then I would have to requestion my trust in the fact that DNA is accepted at all if based on probabilities as this writer states. Debra
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