Compare Ancestry DNA Tests

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Discovering your ancestry is probably one of the most popular DNA tests in the UK. Here we explore what you can discover and what information you can find.

What Are Home DNA Testing Kits?

Home DNA testing kits are where you conduct the DNA test in your own home by yourself. The key here is that home DNA tests require self collection of the DNA sample. Most require a simple saliva test.You then return your sample and have access to your results either online or they are sent to you at home.

What Can An Ancestry DNA Test Tell You?

If you have ever wondered where in the world you originate from then this could interest you. Each test provider is different but many can identify which region in the world you come from. In addition some ancestry DNA tests will also suggest what your genetic ethnicity is.Some tests will then use these results to help identify relatives you may not even be aware you have. For many people this information may simply be interesting to help them understand more about themselves, for others it is a vital tool in establishing their family tree.

What Is Involved In The Home Test?

Most test providers send you a kit that requires you to collect some saliva  and return it securely to them. Others do not collect saliva, rather they ask you to complete a cheek swab. This is a painless, easy procedure which takes just a few minutes. This swab is then sent back to the provider.

How Do You receive The Results?

Each provider is different but for example one of the worlds largest DNA ancestry providers e mail you with online results in approximately 6-8 weeks.Others say you can get results in around 4 weeks.

What's the Science Behind Ancestry testing?

Most companies in this arena keep their processes carefully under wraps but most will concede that they use a number of algorithms to come to a conclusion about your heritage. So once a company receives your saliva, it is digitised into the four nucleobases of DNA-C, G, T and A. The algorithms applied then make sense of these letters. In terms of ancestry the Y chromosome helps track paternal ancestry, maternal ancestry is found in mitochondrial DNA. In terms of your geographical ancestry and ethnic origins your DNA will be compared against each data set so for example it will compare your DNA patterns against what is a British data set to establish if this is where your DNA fits. Each company will have its own reference library to compare your DNA against. It is important to note that what this means is that the accuracy of the information given to you is therefore only as good as the library of data companies have to compare your DNA against. When selecting a company for this type of DNA analysis it would therefore be important to see how large and widespread a companies data is.

What To Consider Before You Buy A Home DNA test

The first thing is to be clear about is what DNA can provide us with the answers with and what it cannot. So if you believe a home DNA test may be able to answer all your questions, you may want to think again. You should also consider whether you are fully prepared for what the data may tell you. This is  particularly important in paternity testing.You may want to check to see if the company you have bought the test from provide any form of support services afterwards.This may be very important if you discover that you may be predisposed towards certain diseases. Finally, do check out the company that are analysing your DNA. Do they comply with international guidelines on the use of genetic data and is your data safe? Some companies have sold on genetic data without the consent of the donors so this is one online purchase where you really must read the small print.