|The Close Cousins project
was born on May 31, 2008 as a
result of a discussion on the
Genealogy-DNA mailing list
on the genealogy site rootsweb.com.
The discussion revolved around the question: If we used the same Y-DNA
tests that we use for our own genealogical testing on our closest Primate relatives
- what would their results look like? How much would it vary from humans? The primary
interest was Bonobos and Chimpanzees. Many list members and scientists expressed
an interest, and several offered to donate to the cause. Thus, the
idea of "CCDNA"
project was hatched.
testing company we have chosen is Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) -
They will be using their standard 67 marker STR Y-DNA test, which is normally
used for male humans, although some extra processing may be required for these "unique
circumstances". The CCDNA project will be paying the standard testing
rate, while FTDNA will be picking up any additional cost involved. We thank
FTDNA and its President Bennett Greenspan for this offer.
Since it is unlikely that
our primate cousins can pay
for their own test, the Close Cousins DNA Fund was created to assist them. We
are dependent on donations and all monies donated will be used exclusively to
pay for DNA testing. If you would like to donate monetarily to the DNA
Fund - click here -http://www.familytreedna.com/contribution.html
You will be taken to a contribution form with further instructions. It will
accept credit cards, PayPal, and check by mail. Please place "Close Cousins" in the
Surname or Notes field.
Our intent is to start with one Bonobo and one Chimpanzee.
Then with the advice of FTDNA scientists and if money is available, we will test
additional markers that may be of interest. Once we established what will be
involved, our next step is to test additional participants, both Bonobos and
Chimps, and look for variations.
As the project grows, we will need more participants. If
you have a contact with a facility that has either Bonobos or Chimpanzees, and
if you believe they might be agreeable to testing one of their them - please
contact the project administrator at
info@ChimpDNA.com We are looking for variety, not close relatives of
those that have already been tested (right now, but that may change).
The project administrators are Blaine
Bettinger and William Davenport.
Why test Bonobos and
Bonobo (Pan paniscus)
Simple. They are our closest primate
relatives. The numbers vary, depending on who you read, but the Bonobo
and human share about 99% of the same DNA. The Chimpanzee, a little
less. Since the Bonobo/Chimp line split from humans a few million
years ago, we would expect some variation in the Y-DNA, but how much?
Will their Y-DNA vary as much within the species as it does in humans?
Will Bonobo Y-DNA be closer to Chimpanzees or Humans? Stay tuned.
Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)