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Dr. Jamie Courter is your Mizzou Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

By Jared E. Decker Many of you have probably noticed that things have been a lot less active on the A Steak in Genomics™   blog, but you probably haven't known why. In January 2021, I was named the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics at Mizzou, and I now focus on research, with a little bit of teaching. I no longer have an extension appointment. But, with exciting news, the blog is about to become a lot more active! Jamie Courter began as the new MU Extension state beef genetics specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences on September 1, 2023. I have known Jamie for several years, meeting her at BIF when she was a Masters student. I have been impressed by Jamie in my interactions with her since that time.  Dr. Courter and I have been working closely together the last 6 weeks, and I am excited to work together to serve the beef industry for years to come! Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and earned a master's degree in animal

Genomics, Ancestry, and a Contest!

In addition to DNA variants' utility in predicting EPDs, disease risk, and other traits, they are also very useful in predicting an individual's ancestry. The most common use of this in livestock is parentage verification or testing. But DNA variants can also be used to look at relationships over much longer time scales. For example, my coauthors and I have used SNPs to look at relationships among ruminant species and breeds of cattle.

Last week I sent 10 mL of my saliva to 23andMe to for processing and DNA testing. This is the human equivalent of genomic-enhanced EPDs (although 23andMe uses different statistical methods). In addition to finding out if I carry specific genetic disorders and my risk for common diseases, I will also find out about my ancestry.

One of the interesting things we have learned from sequencing ancient genomes is that most humans from Europe or Asia have Neanderthal ancestry. So, as part of my 23andMe results I will learn what percent of Neanderthal ancestry I have.

So, here is the contest. Whoever has the closest guess to my percentile rank for the amount of Neanderthal ancestry will win a $20 gift certificate to Texas Roadhouse, or another steak house of their choosing. Your guess must be a number between 0 and 100. A guess of 0 would mean I have no Neanderthal DNA and I am likely from Africa. A guess of 100 would mean I have the most Neanderthal DNA of any living human. A guess of 50 would mean that I have an average amount of Neanderthal DNA. Guesses must be made in the comment section of this blog, guesses on any other social networking site will not be accepted. Contest will run till November 5th, 2013. Ties will be broken by whoever posted their guess first. Extra points will be given for the funniest jokes!
reconstruction: John Gurche; photograph: Tim Evanson
Guess away!

*NOTE: There were glitches with the comments section of this blog. Because of that I opened the contest up to people who also made comments on social media sites. Edited 19 November 2013.


DJ de Koning said…
OK, my guess is 3.56 % Strong facial bone structure and preference for nearly raw meat (steaks) suggest and upwards bias compared to the population average.
Jared Decker said…
Dirk-Jan, express your guess as a percentile rank. For example 2.5% Neanderthal is in the 50th percentile. 3.2% is in the 99th percentile.
Anonymous said…
Having worked cows with members of your genetic source, I would suspect it to be near 99% Neanderthal. However, since female members of your family are so reasonable and genetically evolved, I also suspect that the pure Neanderthal is confined to the Y chromosome. This puts your level must be 1.98% Neanderthal. Having spent too much time on this perplexing issue, I will leave it to you to calculate the percentile rank. Your cousin, Frannie
Jared Decker said…
Okay, I guess I'm the only one who thinks in percentile rank. Your guess can be in percent or percentile rank.
Wes Tiemann said…
Since being a Beef Genetics Extension Specialist with an emphasis on computational genomics is so easy a cave man can do it. I would guess you to be about 5%.
Anonymous said…
How about 3%?
Anonymous said…
gonna go with 55%, you get the standard whitebread loadout, but a slight boost for, frankly, inordinate interest in live flesh and its still-warm constituents. Not
in america, but I recommend Dakota's steakhouse outside of Ashland. ky (home of the *jelly* doughnut? ayoooooo) Yeah, I'm that confident

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