Counting Chromosomes
A blog of random musings on genealogy, genetics, science, and history
DNA Central

It's been four weeks to the day since Blaine Bettinger first posted on his blog, The Genetic Genealogist, about the upcoming April launch of DNA Central. Now, April isn't that far away.

I've followed Blaine's Blaine's contributions to the genetic genealogy community for years, and have already told him that I will be the first in line when the doors open. There are a number of "Citizen Scientists" who regularly offer their expertise to the millions who have now taken genealogy-driven DNA tests, and Blaine's one of the best. From his January 25 blog post:

This new subscription-based site will have blog posts about the latest and greatest, how-to content (including a "What Next?" series), short videos (such as the "3-Minute DNA" series), webinars, and forums. We'll also have monthly giveaways and much more. It's everything you need to finally understand and apply the results of your DNA testing!

Visit that blog post to find a link to subscribe to receive DNA Central announcements, or you can click here to go directly to the subscription form There is no cost or obligation to subscribe to the mailing list.

Q: Why the title, "Counting Chromosomes?" Will the blog only be about DNA?

Not only about DNA...though much of it no doubt will be because DNA testing is the most important new tool for genealogy. As to the name, that's mostly a marketing thing.

I wanted something catchier than "My Blog," so I went looking at as many genealogy blogs I could locate for ideas. And there are a bunch of them. Some titles are creative and memorable, some...not so much. I also wanted a title I could put a license plate on, if you will: register an internet domain name with that title.

Having done some branding work for companies in the past, the next thing I did was compile an extensive list of synonyms and words related to my core subjects. Then I started brainstorming, rearranging the words, mentally adding prepositions, that sort of stuff. You can get some spectacularly bad results this way. Nobody wants to read "Getting into Genes," "Genes Treed," or "Mr. Rogers Nucleotide." It's okay to laugh at my expense; I do it all the time.

With tongue-in-cheek gratitude to the Scotsman Robert Burns for his 1785 poem, from which John Steinbeck extrapolated the title of his 1937 Of Mice and Men.

Eclipse Diagram Before the doors could ever open, plans went awry. This endeavor began taking on a life of its own...causing tangents that we thought might need to be readied before we go live. There have been a couple of technical glitches that can be worked around, but we have to convince ourselves that getting the website open—even if several desired functions are not ready—is more important than continued development in a vacuum where no one can participate at all.