10 October 2017

Selected References for Math, Biology, and DNA Testing Company Algorithms and Features

My blog post on "DNA Analysis: Random is Most Important Factor" generated a discussion that resulted in some questions on where to find more about probability and the algorithms companies are using when analyzing our DNA data.

I have been working to update and merge my online DNA bibliography and the bibliography I provide to students attending the DNA courses at institutes, but it is still a work in progress. The following list is far from comprehensive, but lists some selected resources that provide useful information.

I tried to find public links for all of these, but some may require you to login to the website to access the papers. All URLs were accessed 10 October 2017.

Any Topic Related to Genetic Genealogy

Whenever I want to learn more about any topic related to genetic genealogy, I check the following sources first. These are all currently active and written by experienced genetic genealogists who also have scientific or engineering backgrounds.

Probability and Statistics

Biology and Genetics

Newer editions of these are available. I wanted it for the basics of biology and genetics so this older version covered everything I needed and was more economical.

  • Robert J. Brooker, Genetics: Analysis & Principles 4th ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2012; https://www.amazon.com/Robert-J-Brooker-Genetics-Principles/dp/B008UBBDDY/)

  • Robert J. Brooker and Johnny El-Rady, Student Study Guide / Solutions Manual to accompany Genetics: Analysis & Principles 4th ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2012; not available on Amazon when I checked recently).



Family Tree DNA


And, of course, I recommend the book that Blaine T. Bettinger and I co-authored:
Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne, Genetic Genealogy In Practice, published in September 2016 by the National Genealogical Society (NGS).

To order the print version, click here, then click the cover image on the displayed page or go directly to the online store. Price is $30.06 for NGS members, $36.05 for non-members. The print version is best for working the exercises.

For the Kindle version ($9.99), click here.

Note: As an author I receive royalties on sold copies of Genetic Genealogy In Practice. I receive no incentives from any other entities named in this post.

11 October 2017: Corrected spelling of the name of one author.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Selected References for Math, Biology, and DNA Testing Company Algorithms and Features," Deb's Delvings, 10 October 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved


  1. Good info... FYI, "Anne Sayne" in your AncestryDNA links is actually "Anna Swayne" I believe

    1. Oops! Thank you for the correction, Ken. My apologies to Anna for not catching this when I proofed the post. I love that computers make some things easier for us, but they also make it easier to copy mistakes when we use copy and paste.