Mutating DNA

DNA Mutates.

The fact that it does mutate, slowly over time (generations) allows genetic genealogists to determine Genetic Distance between samples and also estimate change over the ages.

The International Society of Genetic Genealogists defines Genetic Distance as, “the term used to describe the number of differences or mutations between two sets of Y-chromosome DNA or mitochondrial DNA test results. A genetic distance of zero means that there are no differences in the two results and there is an exact match.”

Measuring a member’s Y-STR111 results against the PSHG Modal Haplotype provides clues for how DNA has mutated among the different member branches.  This basic analysis depends on the property mentioned above, slowly occurring mutations.  But what happens when DNA is changed by external forces like scientific advancements in gene replacement, or from prolonged time in outer space?  What’s the effect on the results of autosomal or Y-DNA tests that we are familiar with today?

These articles don’t address the questions from a genetic genealogy perspective; but, I couldn’t help wonder – and think about the future.

Time’s The CRISPR Pioneers –

And, as reported from many news sources, long term space travel changes DNA –

Study Origins

Where did we come from?  How did we get here?

Admittedly, not a simple topic to address in a blog post.  The folks at the FTNDA R1b-U106 Group  (an upstream haplogroup to the PSHG) are adding more and more insights every day through their work. The work they do is an impressive example of the combination of many different areas of study.  And this is just one study group, within one Y-DNA haplogroup, among many.

The origins of the PSHG Study are equally interesting.  The chronicle, from genealogy to genetic data, can be read at Art B. Staples, Jr.’s STAPLE & STAPLES MY FAMILY BRANCH (S&SMFB) Website:

For members, the work described here is a great reminder of where we come from.  For  non-members, it’s a step by step guide to what’s possible.  And for everyone, it servers as an enduring reference in the study of genetic genealogy.

Thank you Art.

PSHG Website Launches

My name is Brian Merrill Staples.  Traditional genealogy and genetic genealogy through the testing of YDNA, indicates that Peter Staple (c 1642-1719) of Kittery, Yorke, Maine was my 9th great-grandfather.

I’m not the only one.  A small group of Peter Staple descendants are on a quest to find two things: 1) proof of the ancestral home of Peter Staple – believed to be somewhere in England, south of the Humber River, and 2) living cousins who are interested in participating in the study.

This website and blog is brand new for the group and will continue to be developed.  If you’re currently a PSHG Member and are interested in Blogging, please contact me!  Non-Members – Please help the cause by sharing via social media and social networks!  You never know who may know who.  DNA tells us that we’re all connected, all related – we just need to find each other.