After the male-inherited Y chromosome (Ycs) and the maternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), autosomal DNA testing offers many insights into a person's past and how he/she might be related to other people. While Ycs and mtDNA are limited to the two outermost lineages in the pedigree chart, autosomal DNA offers a genetic painting of all our ancestors. In recent years, four major laboratories have begun to offer autosomal DNA testing with the purpose of reconstructing information about our ethnicity, our genetic cousins, the geography and migrations of our ancestors, traits and medical predispositions we might have inherited from them, and even how much Neanderthal DNA we might have in our genes. It is an exciting time for genealogists as the new cutting-edge technology in DNA testing for family history is both affordable and accurate, revealing information about our past that just few years ago was deemed impossible. In this lecture, Ugo Perego will explain the major autosomal DNA tests available to genealogists, how they work and what to expect from them in order to reconstruct our genetic family history.
Ugo A. Perego, PhD, MSc, is the CEO for the Salt Lake City based Genetic Genealogy Consultant and a scientist affiliated with the DNA laboratory of Professor Antonio Torroni at the University of Pavia in Italy. He has previously worked for more than a decade as a senior researcher with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and GeneTree.com both based in Utah. Ugo earned a BSc and an MSc in Health Sciences at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) and a PhD in Genetic and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Pavia, Italy. Ugo has contributed numerous lectures and publications on DNA and its applications to population genetics, genealogy, ancestry, forensics, and history. Some of his recent publications include ''Decrypting the mitochondrial gene pool of modern Panamanians'' (in PLoS One, 2012); ''The Mountain Meadows Massacre and 'poisoned springs': Scientific testing of the more recent, anthrax theory'' (in International Journal of Legal Medicine, 2012) ''Mitochondrial haplogroup C4c: a rare lineage entering America through the ice-free corridor?'' American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2011); ''Expanding the concept of family history through DNA'' (in Family Chronicle, 2010); ''Mitochondrial DNA: a female perspective in recent human origin and evolution'' (in Origins as a Paradigm in the Sciences and in the Humanities, 2010); and ''The initial peopling of the Americas: a growing number of founding mitochondrial genomes from Beringia'' (in Genome Research, 2010).