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Important Facts About DNA Ancestry Tests

As a common knowledge, deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule in the body that carries and stores the genetic information of a human being. In fact, it has been used for many years to determine the relationship of one individual to another. Thus, it has been used for paternity and maternity testing. It is also being used as a tool to determine the different types of genetic diseases that a person carries. Nowadays, DNA is being used to help individuals determine their ancestral origin. Such is the so-called DNA ancestry tests. Through such, people will also be able to determine their ethnicities and family histories.

As similar to any other form of DNA tests, the procedure of getting a DNA sample for ancestry is similar. Basically, people are recommended to visit a DNA testing clinic or hospital to get a cheek or buccal swab. However, people can already order home test kits so that they can collect their own sample. Apart from the swab, people can also collect their saliva or spit with the use of sterile and commercially-produced spit-cups. Some DNA testing laboratories also accept a chewed chewing gum and a mouth rinse. The sample that has been collected at home should then be submitted to a testing laboratory. However, people should make sure that they follow the right shipment guidelines to avoid compromising the sample.

When it comes to ancestry DNA tests, there are three major types based on what they detect. The autosomal DNA or atDNA tests are used to look into the individual’s chromosomes, from numbers one to 22, as well as the X chromosome. Such are the ones that are passed on and inherited from both mother and father. The good thing about such type of ancestry DNA test is that it can help an individual determine his or her ethnicity estimate. The Y-DNA test, on the other hand, is the one that looks into a person’s paternal ancestral line. Such is due to the fact that the Y chromosome is only passed on from the father to his son. In contrast, the mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA test is the one that is used in determining a person’s maternal ancestral line. The last two mentioned types of tests are somewhat similar to how they work. That is because both of them cannot determine a person’s ethnicity estimate.

People who are interested in availing ancestry DNA testing should remember that such procedures are expensive. Such is due to the fact that the different techniques and tools used are also expensive. Likewise, companies also need to build a data base that is big enough so that more ethnicities and origins can be determined. Similarly, people should also consider the fact that their privacy or private information may also be compromised. Thus, people should be careful when choosing the company where they will submit their samples. When it comes to the accuracy of ancestry DNA result, such is still very controversial. According to some experts, the error rate of such test is at 15%. However, according to DNA testing companies, their margin of error is only at 0.1%.

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February 2018
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