Tick Tock…The FTDNA Lab Backlog

Naturally, we’re thrilled when any of the ‘Big 3’  DNA companies offers a sale. If the sale is big enough, like the FTDNA December 2014 sale, the additional strain is going to add to the burden of already busy labs.  Although new matches are wonderful, the flip side of the coin is that frequently, we will also have to wait for those results because of lab delays.

To add to FTDNA’s delay woes, the company that supplied the reagent needed to perform all YDNA 12 marker tests stopped production and caused a serious backlog in processing YDNA.  Although the reagent problem was sorted, and FTDNA hired additional staff to catch up, questions such as, “Batch 599 Delayed by Holidays?” and “For those awaiting Y results” are regular features at the FTDNA Forum.

Although the Iowa DNA Project is focused on Family Finder testing our microcosm of members are, across the board,  active testers.

Pending Lab Results

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As you can see from the Pending Results tables above, several of the Iowa DNA Project members took advantage of the sale and placed orders during December.  Many of them already had samples on file which normally reduces batching time.  As is pointed out in, “Poll/Survey about time frame/delayed results“, people whose tests are coming in on time don’t complain and a number of project member tests have returned on time in January and February and have since been removed from the list.  We hope the lab catches up and keeps churning out or results.  In the meantime, our project has learned:

  • SNP and YDNA upgrades are the most delayed
  • SNP tests from batches 587 and 600 have received no notification or explanation for delay
  • The most overdue test is from batch 587
  • 2 of 4 Family Finder tests have been delayed but have not required new samples
  • Autosomal Tests have been transferring within 5 business days
  • No recently ordered test has completed processing early but several have completed on time
  • Tests have received delay notifications but have had results posted within the week

6 thoughts on “Tick Tock…The FTDNA Lab Backlog

  1. The reason that those tests received delay notifications but got results within a day, a few days, or a week is that the system does not allow updates of individual kits.
    The dates can only be changed on all tests of a certain type in particular batch that isn’t complete on the day the dates are changed. There’s no mechanism to say, “Don’t update this one, it’s going to be done in two days.” And there’s no way to differentiate between a test that’s almost complete and one that failed and needs a new sample, or needs one pulled from storage.
    It’s almost certain that the Family Finders shown that were ordered in December failed the first run and had to have the “B” vial pulled to run it again. Family Finders have been running at about 4 to 5 weeks, sometimes sooner, so if it’s been 8 weeks, that’s a sure sign the first run didn’t meet the call rate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good information Janine, thank you. A question- if two FF tests are batched and presumably started at the same time, and one finishes, is the second looking at a 4-5 week extension/ full re-run or can they be partially re-run to pass QC? I ask because I have seen batches complete and then a FF test in the same batch come in within a week of the first tests from the same batch.


      • Lisa Janine Cloud (FTDNA) replied at Isogg, “When a FF fails, the vial is marked “Not good for FF” and another one is pulled for extraction so it’s the full process all over again. About 4 to 5 weeks.
        The other situation is because we receive many more Family Finder orders than can be extracted and processed at the same time. Think of it as baking cookies. You can only put so many cookie sheets in the oven at the same time. You pull one set out because it’s done, and put more in the oven. They’re all from the same “batch” of batter, but they’re not all going to be done at the same time.”

        Thanks Janine. Great peek behind the lab curtain!


  2. Pingback: May 2015 Quarterly Report | IowaDNAProject

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