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Foundation has expanded family history database

Salt Lake-based Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation said Tuesday that it has expanded to 2.5 million records of DNA-family history data and has developed new search tools for visitors to its free, interactive Web site.

The nonprofit research organization is building a comprehensive database linking human genetic and genealogical information.

Visitors to www.smgf.org can enter the numerical values from their own DNA profile into the database's drop-down menus and search for likely ancestors. Their personal DNA profile is obtained by an inexpensive cheek-swab genetic test offered directly by laboratories and through genealogy services.

The database establishes family links among individuals, families, tribes and populations using information encoded in DNA.

Visitors researching their family tree at the site can query a database of 13,489 individual genetic profiles, or genotypes. The Y-chromosome genetic profiles are linked to more than 550,000 individual ancestors representing more than 9,400 paternal-line surnames. Foundation records total 2.5 million, but currently only Y-chromosome, or paternal ancestry, searches are available.