6 Interesting Facts About Testing Your DNA
People are no longer content just knowing their immediate ancestry. We now have the technology to find out more, to connect people who would never have known they were related, and to help people discover things about their family and themselves they could ever have known. This technology is DNA Testing.
Once reserved for certain medical tests, DNA testing is now openly available to everyone and anyone with an interest in finding out about their ancestry.
1. It’s easy and accessible
This is not a test that requires needles or multiple visits to the doctor. There are companies now who provide DNA testing kits in the mail. You swab your own mouth with the provided swab and send it back in the mail. Results generally come in within about eight weeks and can cost from around $100 to $300. DNA testing is easy to access online, easy to do, and – in the grand scheme of things – the results come in pretty quickly.
2. You can receive a more complete analysis
In DNA testing there are actually three different tests that can be taken. Mitochondrial DNA tests can be taken by both males and females and give information about a person’s matrilineal line. A Y-chromosome test gives information about the patrilineal line but can only be taken by men.
And finally, an Autosomal DNA test gives information about both the matrilineal and patrilineal lines and can be taken by both men and women. Companies offering to analyze people’s ancestry use Autosomal DNA tests in order to provide a complete analysis.
3. Compare your DNA with thousands of markers
TO help discover who your ancestors are, your DNA is compared with almost 650,000 genetic markers that will help get you the most accurate results technology has to offer. These markers are based off of scientific research which indicates that these specific genetic markers will provide the necessary information to accurately analyze your genetic makeup.
4. Stored online and searchable
When your results are available from the DNA test purchased online for ancestry purposes, you will be able to log onto the account you would have made when purchasing the test and view the results. The test will break down your ethnicity by percentage, and some tests even provide the names of famous people you may be related to according to your DNA. That data will always be available to you once it is received, and ready for you to explore.
5. It’s pretty accurate
No DNA test is 100% accurate unless they have DNA samples from every one of your ancestors since the beginning of time. No legitimate DNA testing company that offers this service is going to pretend that they can get you a 100% accurate DNA breakdown.
However, with technology today and with people being able to make some solid educated hypotheses based on patterns and science, your results will be fairly accurate – as accurate as current technology can allow, and with time it can only get better.
6. It is secure
Your DNA is personal, probably the most personal thing about you. But even though it may feel strange to send such intimate information out through the mail, it is a completely secure transaction. And, the companies who do the testing do not claim any rights for your DNA. It is simply a service provided for your information.
Also, most of your information is kept online. The package you send out is more or less just a nameless swab full of spit that is essentially useless to anybody else. Only you and the company you choose will ever understand the true value of that package.