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Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation to Include Singapore Families to Expand World's Leading Correlated Genetic and Genealogical Database.



SALT LAKE CITY & SINGAPORE -- Foundation Plans to Collect 200-300 DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
DNA
 or deoxyribonucleic acid

One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes.
 Samples from Volunteer Participants at Singapore's First-Ever National Family History Exhibition

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy genealogy (jē'nēŏl`əjē, –ăl`–, jĕ–), the study of family lineage. Genealogies have existed since ancient times.  Foundation (SMGF SMGF Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation ) today announced that it plans to collect information from volunteer Singapore families to help build the SMGF family history database, the world's most comprehensive collection of correlated genetic and genealogical ge·ne·al·o·gy  
n. pl. ge·ne·al·o·gies
1. A record or table of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or ancestors; a family tree.

2. Direct descent from an ancestor; lineage or pedigree.
 information.

SMGF is a global pioneer in the field of molecular genealogy, which utilizes sophisticated DNA analysis DNA analysis Any technique used to analyze genes and DNA. See Chromosome walking, DNA fingerprinting, Footprinting, In situ hybridization, Jeffries' probe, Jumping libraries, PCR, RFLP analysis, Southern blot hybridization.  techniques and population genetics Population genetics

The study of both experimental and theoretical consequences of mendelian heredity on the population level, in contradistinction to classical genetics which deals with the offspring of specified parents on the familial level.
 to help people identify their ancestors and genetic family relationships. The Foundation's database is a powerful, publicly available family history tool that combines genetic and genealogical information to create a comprehensive genetic record of families throughout the world.

SMGF intends to collect genetic information from between 200 and 300 individuals in Singapore in August 2005. The Foundation invites Singaporeans who have at least four generations of genealogical information (back to their great-grandparents) to contribute DNA samples at the first Singapore Family History Exhibition. The Exhibition, titled "Who am I? The Joy of Discovering Your Family History," was co-organized by Singapore's Shepherdson family and the Singapore National Library Board. The event will be held from Aug. 2-28 on the premises of the new Singapore National Library.

Participation in the SMGF project is quick, convenient and free. The Foundation will use private funding donated by its founder, billionaire inventor and philanthropist James LeVoy Sorenson James LeVoy Sorenson (1922-) is the founder of Sorenson Companies, a parent company of 32 corporations. A noted philanthropist, he is currently the richest man in Utah and 50th in the U.S., according to Forbes World's Richest People. , to collect, analyze and correlate the genealogical and genetic data. To maintain the privacy of the donors, SMGF cannot provide participants with their individual results. However, participants may obtain their genetic marker genetic marker
n.
A gene phenotypically associated with a particular, easily identified trait and used to identify an individual or cell carrying that gene.
 profiles from a commercial lab if they wish to search the SMGF database.

SMGF was drawn to Singapore's unique, multiethnic mul·ti·eth·nic  
adj.
Of, relating to, or including several ethnic groups.

Adj. 1. multiethnic - involving several ethnic groups
multi-ethnic
 genetic mix. "Singapore's demographics are extremely dynamic, with many people from diverse backgrounds migrating to and from the country," said Ugo Perego, director of operations for SMGF. "Gathering genealogical and genetic information from volunteer participants in Singapore will provide significant family history information for people from many European and Asian countries and backgrounds, and will benefit Singaporeans by providing them with reliable genetic testing Genetic Testing Definition

A genetic test examines the genetic information contained inside a person's cells, called DNA, to determine if that person has or will develop a certain disease or could pass a disease to his or her offspring.
 to help them successfully reconstruct their family histories."

The SMGF database can play a significant role in Singapore's ongoing effort to foster national identity for its citizens and others with Singaporean roots.

"The success of Singapore's national genealogy initiative depends on the tools and resources available. People and private sector-led initiatives, such as SMGF's genetic and genealogical database, help to add value and enhance existing efforts in family history research," said Walter Lim, acting director of corporate communications Corporate communications is the process of facilitating information and knowledge exchanges with internal and key external groups and individuals that have a direct relationship with an enterprise.  and industry promotion at Singapore's National Heritage Board. The Board created a one-stop genealogy portal called the Singapore Family Tree (www.sft.com.sg), which helps to connect Singaporeans across time, space, and generations, while preserving their sense of heritage and identity with Singapore. In its first two months of existence, the portal had already signed up more than 2,000 family trees This is an index of family trees available. It includes noble, politically important and royal families as well as fictional families and thematic diagrams. Europe
  • Counts of Flanders
  • Counts of Hainaut
  • Counts of Holland
.

"The Shepherdson family can attest to the tremendous value of molecular genealogy in identifying family relationships, and of the opportunity to use SMGF's database to extend family history research," said Kevin Shepherdson, organizer of the Singapore Family History Exhibition. The Shepherdson family is now actively pursuing new leads uncovered in the database to link up with Shepherdsons and other relatives around the world.

"Using a combination of SMGF's database and a commercial service from Relative Genetics, we are confident that we can extend our family history research even further, all the way back to the 14th century," added Shepherdson. "We hope that through this Family History Exhibition and through participation in the SMGF project, others here in Singapore can enjoy the same benefits our family is now enjoying."

About Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (www.smgf.org) is a non-profit research organization whose objective is to collect DNA samples within a genealogical context for the purpose of creating the world's most comprehensive correlated genetic and genealogical database. The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation database will help create a genetic record for the families of the world, and help individuals and families learn about their genetic ancestors and relationships.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 2, 2005
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