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Thread: The 2% or less 'noise' rule

  1. #1
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    The 2% or less 'noise' rule

    Does this effectively mean that admixture calculations are only really accurate to the 3gt level? You could have a Swedish 4gt, for example, which would get you 1.56% Scandinavian but if the calculator only gives you 2% or less Scandinavian many would suggest, mistakenly, it was noise.

    Less than 2% on a calculator might be real. The difficulty can be proving it's real. If the ancestry according to my paper trail for 3gt is accurate re orgins then I can only have less than 3.125% non British/Irish.
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    I think it depends on the difference between the genetic clusters; if you are fully British and get below 2% Scandinavian in admixture, it might be noise, because of the similarity between these clusters. However, say you are British with a Chinese 4gg-parent, and you get 2% East Asian, I think it is less likely to be noise, because it would not be likely that they'd confuse British with East Asian. Don't know if this idea is true though.

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    I just think it's generally a good rule of thumb to assume anything under 2% on Gedmatch is likely to be noise. I know people who are genuinely around 1-2% African and it just doesn't show up at all on Gedmatch. You also sometimes have people from, say, Britain who score 0.75% Oceanian on some calculator and seem to treat it like it's real and start to wonder about wayward Polynesian sailors or something. Or they assume that because they're from Europe and scored 0.75% Oceanian, it must mean Gedmatch is a fraud or something.

    I think because of that it's just better for people to assume that if it's under 2%, it's probably not real. If you really want to know if you have some admixture under 2%, get tested with 23andme.

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    The only amount under 2% I get on 23andMe is broadly Southern European 0.2% and Ashkenazi Jewish <0.1%

    Ashkenazi Jewish appears on my ancestry timeline.
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    I think that an important reason for the appearance of unexpected admixtures, is the mismatch between the testee sample and the database of reference populations.
    The expression "The 2% or less 'noise' rule" suggests a level of scientific understanding that just doesn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fished View Post
    I just think it's generally a good rule of thumb to assume anything under 2% on Gedmatch is likely to be noise. I know people who are genuinely around 1-2% African and it just doesn't show up at all on Gedmatch. You also sometimes have people from, say, Britain who score 0.75% Oceanian on some calculator and seem to treat it like it's real and start to wonder about wayward Polynesian sailors or something. Or they assume that because they're from Europe and scored 0.75% Oceanian, it must mean Gedmatch is a fraud or something.

    I think because of that it's just better for people to assume that if it's under 2%, it's probably not real. If you really want to know if you have some admixture under 2%, get tested with 23andme.
    What if there are mirroring "noise-like" results within a family?

    For example, my whole family (myself, my two siblings, and my parents) has taken the AncestryDNA test. All of my grandparents were born in Iran. "Finland/Northwest Russia" appeared as a trace region for both my mother (0-2%) and one of my siblings (0-1%). Then, on Eurogenes K36, "Fennoscandian" appeared as 0.60% for my mother, and 0.77% for that same sibling of mine. The region did not appear in the results of anyone else in my family.

    Can it still be just noise when two different sources (here, Ancestry and Eurogenes) show the same trace region in the same amount in the same two related people?

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    It depends on the context. When I look at the results for my father-in-law, he has 2% or smaller results that I absolutely do not rule out as noise:
    He's about 25% Spanish, from what I can tell, so while they are small, his results for Basque, French, West Med, Arabian, North African and North Atlantic look completely consistent with Spanish ancestry (especially as fractional components of a regional whole).
    Also, if anything, I'm surprised he doesn't have more Oceanian, given his other 75% is Filipino.

    Arabian 1.41
    Armenian -
    Basque 1.24
    Central_African -
    Central_Euro 1.01
    East_African -
    East_Asian 11.05
    East_Balkan 0.21
    East_Central_Asian -
    East_Central_Euro -
    East_Med -
    Eastern_Euro -
    Fennoscandian -
    French 1.14
    Iberian 3.15
    Indo-Chinese 13.01
    Italian 6.67
    Malayan 35.20
    Near_Eastern -
    North_African 0.77
    North_Atlantic 1.42

    North_Caucasian -
    North_Sea -
    Northeast_African -
    Oceanian 0.18
    Omotic -
    Pygmy 0.12
    Siberian -
    South_Asian -
    South_Central_Asian -
    South_Chinese 22.05
    Volga-Ural -
    West_African -
    West_Caucasian -
    West_Med 1.36
    Last edited by Dewsloth; 08-16-2017 at 04:30 PM.
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112>BY44243

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
    John Mead (I2a1/P37.2) b1634; Rev. Joseph Hull (I1, L1301+ L1302-) b1595; Benjamin Harrington (M223/I2a2a-Y5729) b1618; Joshua Griffith (L21>DF13) b1593;
    John Wing (U106) b1584; Thomas Gunn (DF19) b1605; Hermann Wilhelm (DF19) b1635

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    That's the same as me. I am Northern Irish and recorded 3% Eastern Europe on Ancestry DNA, Gedmatch says 10.9 for Eastern Europe.

    I'm not sure where that would come from? Would that be a GG grandparent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewsloth View Post
    It depends on the context. When I look at the results for my father-in-law, he has 2% or smaller results that I absolutely do not rule out as noise:
    He's about 25% Spanish, from what I can tell, so while they are small, his results for Basque, French, West Med, Arabian, North African and North Atlantic look completely consistent with Spanish ancestry (especially as fractional components of a regional whole).
    Also, if anything, I'm surprised he doesn't have more Oceanian, given his other 75% is Filipino.

    Arabian 1.41
    Armenian -
    Basque 1.24
    Central_African -
    Central_Euro 1.01
    East_African -
    East_Asian 11.05
    East_Balkan 0.21
    East_Central_Asian -
    East_Central_Euro -
    East_Med -
    Eastern_Euro -
    Fennoscandian -
    French 1.14
    Iberian 3.15
    Indo-Chinese 13.01
    Italian 6.67
    Malayan 35.20
    Near_Eastern -
    North_African 0.77
    North_Atlantic 1.42

    North_Caucasian -
    North_Sea -
    Northeast_African -
    Oceanian 0.18
    Omotic -
    Pygmy 0.12
    Siberian -
    South_Asian -
    South_Central_Asian -
    South_Chinese 22.05
    Volga-Ural -
    West_African -
    West_Caucasian -
    West_Med 1.36
    In the context of my family's background (Iranian), I would expect trace showings of Ireland, Europe West, Iberian Peninsula, and Finland/Northwest Russia in my mom's results to be noise. (The last one to a lesser extent, given my mom's family's apparent connection to the Caucasus, but still.) However, my own results also show trace amounts of Iberian Peninsula and Europe West, and my brother shows trace amounts of Iberian Peninsula, Ireland, and Finland/Northwest Russia.

    I'm no expert on this stuff, but to those of you who understand these tests and results pretty well, would the above suggest this is not mere noise?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apex n Harmony View Post
    In the context of my family's background (Iranian), I would expect trace showings of Ireland, Europe West, Iberian Peninsula, and Finland/Northwest Russia in my mom's results to be noise. (The last one to a lesser extent, given my mom's family's apparent connection to the Caucasus, but still.) However, my own results also show trace amounts of Iberian Peninsula and Europe West, and my brother shows trace amounts of Iberian Peninsula, Ireland, and Finland/Northwest Russia.

    I'm no expert on this stuff, but to those of you who understand these tests and results pretty well, would the above suggest this is not mere noise?
    I'm not guaranteeing this is what happened, but you could tick all those boxes with (for example) a single distant German or English ancestor.
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112>BY44243

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
    John Mead (I2a1/P37.2) b1634; Rev. Joseph Hull (I1, L1301+ L1302-) b1595; Benjamin Harrington (M223/I2a2a-Y5729) b1618; Joshua Griffith (L21>DF13) b1593;
    John Wing (U106) b1584; Thomas Gunn (DF19) b1605; Hermann Wilhelm (DF19) b1635

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