Ethnicity, heritage, ancestry… These are all terms that I have had the pleasure of convoluting and deconstructing thanks to my cultural anthropology classes. But really when you get to the biology of it all, it is not as complicated.

If you didn’t quite jump on National Geographic’s Genographic Project train and have been curious about your personal lineage, you can, now, in your own home, test your lineage.

DNA AncestryThanks to Ancestry.com, and them teaming up with Sorenson Genomics, DNA testing is now much more simple. You can now integrate your DNA with the world’s largest online collection of historical records and family trees over at DNA.ancestry.com. Why? Well if you are curious to understand your family tree and understand where your ancestors came from or connect with family across distance and time.

Welcome the age of personal genomics meeting web 2.0.

Albeit, what Ancestry.com is offering is a beta product as of now, I consider the offer and pricing fair given the amount of laborwork involved. the Genetic Geneaologist quotes:

  • A Y-DNA test with 33 markers will be $149.
  • A Y-DNA test with 46 markers will be $199 (if you look at the sample results page, you’ll see a list of the 46 markers tested).
  • mtDNA test will be $179, although the exact testing parameters for the mtDNA test are unclear at this point (the website only states that HVR1 and HVR2 will be sequenced).

A Y-DNA test will trace your paternal line, and is only useful if you wanna test a male since guys got the Y-chromosome… The more markers the more information that will be resolved. Reciprocally, a mtDNA test will trace your maternal line and can be used for both males and females since we all have mitochondria which are inherited from our mother.

So you maybe curious, and wondering, “How do I get in on the action? What do I need to do?” This is what is you gotta do:

  1. Purchase a DNA test kit. Your kit will include three collection swabs, an envelope for recording your information and a postmarked return envelope.
  2. Swab the inside of your mouth. Follow the instructions provided, rubbing each swab inside both of your cheeks.
  3. Mail your kit to our labs. We’ll begin analyzing your DNA sample as soon as we receive it. Results are typically available within 2-3 weeks after the lab receives them.
  4. View your results online, which will include:
    • Your personal DNA profile
    • A map displaying the location of participants matching your DNA
    • A table comparing your DNA profile with matching profiles
    • A chart showing the range of generations in which you and another participant may share a common ancestor.
    • Safe, secure, and anonymous, e-mail connections with potential genetic cousins
    • A haplogroup prediction, map and migration history
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