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In general, the Braatz / Bratz Family is known for its good health and no known genetic characteristics related to illnesses.
Advances in genetics, though, allow us to think that very soon we may tailor drugs to our particular genetics. The Time Magazine (Jan. 15, 2001) article explains what this advance in medicine means. Time Magazine article
An article in US News
and World Report (Oct. 23/00) illustrates further the benefits of knowing our
A short article tells
us about a family with an inherited blood-clotting disorder. Those of the same
family (genetically proven) may test for the "Factor V Leiden". DNA
Testing and Genealogical Research
For a good article on the details of DNA analysis for genealogy research, read: DNA ANALYSIS: The Newest Genealogical Tool?
Since it is expensive to do this kind of research, we suggest that if we
pool resources from family members who own the same genetic characteristics
(DNA), then all family members would be able to share this kind of precious
information to improve their health.
To start with, we will have to identify our genetic markers, those characteristics which tell us apart from the rest of the 6 billion humans. We estimate that with 20 to 100 DNA extractions, we will be able to have a Braatz / Bratz profile.
The gathered information would not be open to non-family members, nor published in an Internet page, but provided directly to the interested family members who send in their own DNA profile. The testing facility will maintain the Y chromosome profiles of the extracted DNAs in a databank and inform about the most recent common ancestor identified or identified later from participants who send in their samples in the future. We from the family site will have no access to any particular information, but will receive comparisons from our DNA to other matching participants, if we volunteer.
Please inform your interest in volunteering your DNA sample adequate for
a chromossome Y extraction to
family@Braatz.com to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
In response to our mailing we got a suggestion to ask family members to volunteer for their mitochondria DNA extraction (the female side) also. This will allow participants to identify most recent common ancestors from the mother's side and benefit from health findings along this line too.
For more information about DNA extractions related to family research, look at the articles below and read the pages of the links we kept at the margin:
US News article
Linking family branches through DNA research
For those who read german, an article from Die Welt sent in by Wolfgang Braatz, who maintains the family site in Germany: Amerikaner suchen ihre Wurzeln Article in german
Below another very interesting article about the subject published in the
New York Times, which was sent to us by Jane Wilkinson a Bratz granddaughter.
Article in New York Times April 9, 2000:
The crime scene was bare of clues. Even DNA fingerprinting scored no hits
in the databases. The police had no leads. As a last resort, they sent a DNA
sample to a private company -- which soon supplied the surname of the man who
had left it.
Science fiction as yet, but the company, Oxford Ancestors, exists and has
applied for a patent on the idea of deriving surnames from DNA. Its founder,
Dr. Bryan Sykes, is a geneticist at the University of Oxford in England who
has made an intriguing discovery about English surnames: many of them once had
a single bearer.
Surnames came into use in England between 1250 and 1450, probably in connection
with the development of inheritable property rights and trades.
"The surname acted like documentation a time when they didn't have forms," said Dr. George Redmonds, a historian of place names and surnames. It is not known how many people took the same surname, but those based on common trades, like Smith, may have had many original owners.
Dr. Sykes, who analyzes DNA to track ancient population changes, wondered
if he could trace the origins of his own surname. The word comes from a type
of moorland stream used to mark land boundaries. Genealogists expected that
as a landscape feature it would have been adopted by many people in search of
surnames. Nearly 10,000 Sykeses are registered as voters in the United Kingdom,
many near the town of Huddersfield in Yorkshire.
Dr. Sykes sent out letters to a random sample of his male namesakes, asking
them to send him cells brushed from the inside cheek on a cotton swab. His interest
lay in the subjects' Y chromosomes, which of course are bequeathed from father
to son in the same pattern as surnames, except in the case of what geneticists
delicately refer to as a "non-paternity event."
Unlike the other chromosomes, the Y is transmitted unchanged and would
remain identical from the Adams of the human race to all of their sons, except
for the rare mutations or accidental changes that accumulate over the centuries.
Because each lineage of Y chromosomes carries its own signature set of DNA changes,
these mutations provide a perfect system for tracking male genealogies, and
that is what Dr. Sykes looked for in the cotton swabs mailed back to him.
Only one DNA signature was common among his namesakes' Y chromosomes, Dr.
Sykes reports in the current issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
This means there was only one original Mr. Sykes, at least as reflected in today's
population. The first Sykeses on record lived in the 13th century in Flockton,
Slaithwaite and Saddleworth, three villages close to Huddersfield.
Sykeses who do not carry the genetic signature have presumably had a non-paternity
event somewhere in their ancestry. In fact, 50 percent of the modern-day Sykeses
did not have the signature.
Despite appearances, this is a remarkable testimony to the fidelity of
the Mrs. Sykeses of past centuries, because it amounts to a non-paternity rate
of 1.3 percent per generation. The non-paternity rate in the present English
population is conjectured to be between 2 percent and 5 percent.
From court records, it seems Dr. Sykes's ancestors, at least in the 14th
century, were "quite a rough lot -- always being fined for cutting down trees
and stealing sheep."
"Nonetheless," Dr. Sykes said, "their wives were faithful through all this."
Asked if he was a true Sykes or an out-of-wedlock Sykes, he replied, "I'm
proud to say I have the aboriginal chromosome."
Sykeses who live in the United States would not necessarily bear the original
chromosome in the same proportion as their English cousins because the emigrants
might not have been a representative sample, Dr. Sykes said.
He has analyzed three other surnames in the same way and found that, as
with the Sykeses, all can be traced to a single bearer of the family name.
Even the ubiquitous Smiths and Clarks might trace their surnames to just
a handful of very prolific early ancestors, not the hundreds that might be presumed,
Dr. Sykes said.
This suggests it would be feasible to construct a library of DNA signatures
linked with English family names. The library could be used forensically to
provide a surname that matched a DNA sample, and for genealogy.
Dr. Redmonds, the historian, said a library of DNA matched to surnames
would be useful in connecting branches of a family that lacked historical records
to document their kinship. The library might be of particular interest, he said,
to Americans of English ancestry seeking to Identify their origins; their Y
chromosomes might link them directly to the villages where the first bearers
of their surnames once lived.
"Bryan had no interest in genealogy whatsoever before this started," Dr.
Redmonds said of his geneticist friend. "When I was able to take him to the
precise place in Yorkshire where his ancestors came from, he was hooked."