How It Works
The project data is based on testing "alleles" from certain "loci" on the Y-Chromosome (called Y-STR values, for Short Tandem Repeats - a recurring pattern at that position). The Y-STR "count" at each position is displayed as a number. These allele numbers are rendered for anywhere from 12, to 25, 37, 67 and 111 different loci positions on the Y-Chromosome that have been determined to have very low mutation probabilities, meaning that these values will be passed on along a given biological line with relatively few if any mutations for thousands of years.
The Grant DNA Project has chosen Family Tree DNA, a company out of Houston, TX, and the leader in the genealogy DNA field, as the host company for our project. Information on joining the Grant DNA Project can be found at: Family Tree DNA.
When you join the project, Family Tree DNA will send you a testing kit. NO BLOOD is involved. The kit consists of a couple of "cheek scrapers" which you rub around inside your mouth a few minutes to collect cells. Two vials of preservative solution are included with the kit. You pop off the ends of the cheek scrapers into the vials of solution and then mail the vials (in a self-addressed envelope included with your kit) back to Family Tree DNA's laboratories at the University of Arizona. Results from the testing take about 6 to 8 weeks.
Family Tree DNA offers testing of 12, 25, 37 , 67 and 111 markers on the Y-Chromosome. Each test is priced differently, with 111 being the most expensive. However, 12-marker test offers little to go on, especially for refining matches, and we recommend you choose the 37-marker kit as a first-time purchase and the 67-marker kit if you can afford it. The 67-marker kit refines the chances of a common ancestor within "X" number of generations between any two people.
Some members initially expressed privacy concerns about having their DNA taken. All concerns about privacy of the information gathered can be found at: Family Tree DNA. Bottom line, if you are that concerned about privacy, contact one of the: Project Administrators and we may be able to address your concerns. There are self-directed privacy controls under the Preference tab. We feel the benefits of the information and the project far outweigh concerns one would have about privacy. But remember, if you take from the project work from others in the group without allowing others to benefit from your research, it is a bit selfish. We would prefer to have you on our team.
Also, because only males have a Y-Chromosome, the participation in the project is limited to males who seem to have some common ancestors in the Grant project. While the project supports Mitochondiral DNA (mtDNA) values, which are passed from mother to child (male or female), this data is not the primary focus of the Grant DNA project.