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As there are more than 2 people being compared (the calculation below involves 8) we must count the number of transmission events to calculate the average mutation rate. For more on counting transmission events see the explanation on the page ‘more on the maths’.

When the calculation for the mutation rate was done, 8 were examined, with a total of 3232 transmission events, and 16 mutations (excluding DYS 464). This means that the simple average Hawgood mutation rate is 16/3232 = 0.49%.

We can also use our calculator to see how likely 16 mutations actually is, over 3232 transmission events. Note that when using the calculation for more than 2 people, enter ‘markers’ as transmission value, and ‘generations’ & ‘numbers tested’ as ‘1’ . This then forces the value for ‘Total opportunities for mutations’ to be the transmission event value. This creates in effect the throwing of the dice 3232 times and calculating how many times a mutation event is likely to occur.

Using the average probability of a single mutation of 0.40%, we can check to see how likely the actual result of 16 mutations is. The graph below shows that 16 mutations would occur 7% of the time, although it should be noted even the mostly likely number of mutations has only 11% chance of occurring. One thing to note is that one person tested had four mutations in a relatively short period. Had this not occurred the results would have been closer to the expect outcome - welcome to the joys of the statistics of small sample analysis!

## The HAWGOOD mutation rate