Gone are the days where everything you knew about DNA testing came from sci-fi films. Western Europe or Southeast Asia) rather than one country, as many databases do not contain enough information to distinguish SNPs according to a precise location. Now imagine if you found out your real mother was actually your grandmother. Laura Though these markers can identify individuals and their relationships with others, STR testing doesn’t analyze the genetic information itself, so can’t match DNA to a particular country or region. This has led to many people having numerous questions. For example, the most accurate results are usually for Anglo-Saxon and European lineages as there is more data from people of these ethnicities in the respective databases to compare to. Your SNP’s are compared to the most common SNP’s for the various populations in the company’s reference database. While ancestry DNA tests cannot be used as legal proof of paternity, maternity, or any other familial relationship, online family finder tools like AncestryDNA’s “DNA Matches” or 23andMe’s “DNA Relatives” feature can be used to locate biological family members in their databases. These are sometimes pharmaceutical companies attempting to understand how specific human genome sections can help develop new drugs. Despite most of these privacy policies stating they will notify you of any changes, you would have to keep in constant contact with the company to ensure you were actually aware of these changes. Learn more at Ancestry®! This is only possible if the companies have established the correct reference populations. DNA Functions: An Overview of the Roles DNA Plays in Cells, The Genetics of Culture (Hint: It doesn’t exist), Diet rich in DNA methylation and heart diseases, Three conditions for nurturing the genomic data commons, The naked mole rat and its surprising contributions to research, Surprising DNA testing company partnerships you didn't know about. Furthermore, SNP patterns may have changed geographically over time. Email This lab processing generates raw DNA data. According to studies, the lowest concordance is with individuals of South Asian, East Asian and Hispanic descent. DNA ancestry testing is also useful in helping you discover long lost or distant family members. This type of testing only looks at specific variations. The second part of the process is to compare your DNA, bit by bit, to the DNA of the people from the 43 different regions in the reference panel, to see which groups’ DNA your DNA most resembles. For example, because of how DNA is passed down, sometimes you and your second cousin might share as much DNA as someone else and their first or third cousin. This person must understand their DNA is being matched to the current population as opposed to the people who occupied the region hundreds of years in the past. Accuracy of Regions in Your Ethnicity Estimate If the company responsible for running your test is sold, whatever you signed loses significance due to the privacy policies of the company. For example, it looks at how well it works on people from the reference panel (who should theoretically come back with 100 percent of a certain ethnicity). Now everybody wants a closer look into their genetic makeup. Either way, you need to be open and prepared for a surprise. With current technology, AncestryDNA has, on average, an accuracy rate of over 99 percent for each marker tested. The original DNA sample is only destroyed by roughly ten percent of these companies. As Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at University College London, noted in an interview: “By the time you go 10 generations back, there are ancestors from whom you inherit no DNA.” Tracing ancestry beyond 300 years is futile as you only directly inherit DNA from a small fraction of your ancestors – the others are called ‘pedigree ancestors.’ So, when taking a DNA test, focus on the information regarding more recent generations of ancestors and take anything beyond that with a pinch of salt.