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Relative Genetics Introduces Leading Edge DNA Testing Method for Genealogy to Singapore; New Approach to Genealogical Research Helps Shepherdson Families in Singapore Confirm Centuries-Old Genetic Relationship.

SALT LAKE CITY & SINGAPORE -- Relative Genetics today announced that it will introduce to Singapore its global-standard method for using DNA analysis to support and verify genealogical research. The company will present its genealogical approach to Singaporeans at an exhibition titled "Who Am I? The Joy of Discovering Your Family History," the first-ever family history exhibition in Singapore. The event, which is co-organized by the Singapore National Library Board and Singapore's Shepherdson family, will be held from Aug. 2-28 at the new National Library premises.

"We are honored to participate in this great exhibition and feel privileged to introduce our revolutionary methods of using DNA and genetics to assist Singaporeans in their family history work," said Relative Genetics Chief Scientific Officer Lars Mouritsen, who will represent the company at the Family History Exhibition's Aug. 2 opening. Relative Genetics provides the industry's most comprehensive DNA testing, genetic interpretation and genealogical analysis to establish family connections.

The Family History Exhibition is designed to appeal to families, students, senior citizens and others who may be interested in, or are curious about, family history. The exhibition will be launched by Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Minister-of-State, Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

The event provides a comprehensive genealogy resource for family history research in Singapore, involving both traditional research and scientific methods. "Initiatives to trace and validate the roots of families, such as DNA Analysis, help to add value and promote genealogy research among Singaporeans," said Philip Chua, chief technology officer of the Singapore National Heritage Board, who spearheaded the Singapore Family Tree portal (www.sft.com.sg). "This complements our recent national efforts to promote the importance of family history." The Board has actively promoted the Family Tree project as a "one-stop genealogy portal" to connect Singaporeans across time and space and preserve their sense of heritage and identity with Singapore.

The Shepherdson family is the largest extended family in Singapore to utilize the Relative Genetics method to confirm their family relationships. The extensive Shepherdson family study presents a remarkable example of the value of leading edge DNA analysis for genealogy.

"Relative Genetics is introducing a new and extremely effective way of doing genealogical work for Singapore, by utilizing leading edge DNA analysis methods to help identify genetic family relationships," said Kevin Shepherdson, co-organizer of the exhibition and an active participant in the Singapore Family Tree project. "Our family can attest to the value of their approach, based on our own extremely positive experience."

Kevin Shepherdson became involved with Relative Genetics earlier this year when two branches of the Shepherdson family in Singapore retained the Salt Lake City company to scientifically verify or disprove the families' belief in the genetic relationship between the two family lines sharing the Shepherdson surname.

Genealogical evidence suggested that all Shepherdsons in Singapore and Malaysia allegedly descended from two brothers -- captains Robert and Matthew Shepherdson, both mariners involved in the British East India Trade -- who initially settled in the Malay Peninsula, in Malacca and in Penang, respectively.

It was well established that the captains were brothers, but the family hadn't scientifically confirmed whether the Shepherdsons today were actually the captains' respective offspring. According to Kevin Shepherdson, "Thanks to Relative Genetics I can now say with certainty what many of us have long believed -- that I am indeed related to all the other Shepherdson families in this region. It is our hope that we Eurasians and many other Singaporeans can enjoy the same sense of connection and belonging that this process has allowed us to experience."

About Relative Genetics

Relative Genetics (www.relativegenetics.com) provides genetic testing solutions to help genealogists connect the branches of their family trees. The company's comprehensive testing services allow private companies, individuals, family organizations and genealogists around the world to establish relationships and identity through DNA testing, genetic interpretation and genealogical analysis. Relative Genetics is noted for its industry-leading turnaround time and its skilled staff of molecular scientists and genetic genealogists. In collaboration with its in-house laboratory, Sorenson Genomics, Relative Genetics offers the most complete specialized genetic testing capabilities available under one roof for paternal and maternal line verification, extended family analysis and Ancestral Origin(TM) assessment.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 2, 2005
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