Quantitative Biology


Combining Genetic Similarities Among Known Relatives that Connect to an Unknown Relative

Authors: Stephen P. Smith, Cambrian Lopez, Nicole Lam

Various DNA testing companies promise their customers a collection of genetic matches to facilitate finding family members. The matches are in centimorgans (cM), where the higher the cM value the closer the relationship to a customer (R). Unless the relationship is close, such as parent-offspring or among 1st cousins, a single cM value is not that informative if the goal is to locate family. This paper describes a statistical method that combines a collection cM values from a cluster of unknown relatives of R, but where the cluster members are known among themselves being for example 2rd and 3th cousins. A presumed envoy is attached to the cluster, where R is a descendant of the envoy, and the various cM values are combined to provide an overall cM value between R and the envoy. The envoy’s cM comes with a statistical error to judge significance. Unlike a single cM value on a typical unknown relative, the envoy’s cM can be quite large and indicative of a real genetic path to R that has previously been undiscovered. This paper describes the method for two sisters, where the path from the envoy led to their lost father, a father that was later discovered.

Comments: 15 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2017-05-19 14:06:52

Unique-IP document downloads: 35 times

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