Category Archives for Blog

Here’s how to properly take a FTDNA, AcestryDNA or 23andMe sample.

How to take a Proper DNA sample (Saliva and Cheek Swab)

There are two kinds of samples DNA testing companies ask for: a saliva/spit sample or a cheek/buccal swab.

Both are pretty easy to take and require no more than 5 minutes to take and secure the sample. But if you are not careful, you can mess up the sample resulting in unreliable or inconclusive results.

The company might send you a new kit for another sample, which means you’ll have to wait several more weeks for your results.

Here’s how to take each type of sample properly.

Note that these are just general tips. Your sampling kit will come with … Read the rest >>

23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA, the three best DNA tests, all allow you to delete your DNA data

How to Delete Your DNA Data from 23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA

23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA, the three best DNA tests, all allow you to delete your DNA data. But it’s impossible to completely wiping out everything.

The main problem, as a Bloomberg journalist found out, is actually the law.

Most of these DNA testing companies do the testing in labs that meet standards set out in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).

CLIA requires that certified labs retain genetic test results for at least 10 years.

The data is anonymized but that doesn’t mean no one can trace it to you. Researchers have proven that it can be done. … Read the rest >>

Ancestry DNA results

How To Get a Free DNA Test Online

I’ll be straight with you. It’s very hard to get a free DNA test in the US.

Here’s why.

Testing DNA is a high-skill, high-tech, and time-consuming process. It has to be done in a specialized lab by trained and experienced technicians.

Take ancestry testing for example.

When a tube of spit or a cheek swab arrives at the lab, they have to extract your DNA first. They then amplify your DNA (copy it many times over) to prepare it for analysis.

The DNA is analyzed using a particular chip. The technicians study hundreds of thousands of locations … Read the rest >>

Ancestry DNA online genetic testing kit

The Most Common Myths about Genetic Ancestry Testing Debunked

There are many things a lot of people misunderstand about online genetic testing for ancestry. We debunk the most common myths and misconceptions.

Myth: Ancestry DNA testing is expensive

DNA testing has gotten a lot cheaper compared to a decade ago. Most companies charge around $99 for an autosomal DNA test that helps you find unknown family members and track down your ancestry.

Y-DNA and mtDNA tests cost a bit more but they are still quite affordable.

Myth: I can pay for a DNA ancestry test using my insurance

Your DNA ancestry test has nothing to do with your health … Read the rest >>

23andMe health test

How DNA Health Testing Works (Plus Important Caveats)

As genetic health screening has gotten cheaper, more companies have taken the opportunity to provide affordable DNA testing to consumers.

These tests tell you which medical conditions you are at risk for because of your genetics.

If you are worried about Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s because it’s in your family, a DNA health test is a good place to start.

23andMe is currently the biggest provider of online FDA-approved DNA health tests (read our full review of the 23andMe health test).

But how exactly does genetic health screening work? Most importantly, can you trust what it tells you?

What Happens

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Ancestry DNA results

Your Ancestry DNA Test Results Do not Determine Your Identity

Why did you get a genetic DNA test? Or if you are planning to get one soon, why are you doing it?

Like most people, you probably just want to find out more about your family and roots and perhaps find a few unknown cousins.

It’s most likely not a grand quest to find your identity and redefine your entire life based on your ancestry DNA results.

But you wouldn’t think so if you listen to most ancestry DNA testing companies?

Their slick marketing videos and online brochures promise a journey much bigger than discovering your fourth cousins or finding … Read the rest >>

Understanding degrees of cousins in your DNA Matches on Ancestry

Understanding Degrees of Cousin-ness: 1st Cousin, 2nd Cousin and Beyond

The majority of DNA matches on Ancestry, 23andMe or FTDNA will be your cousins.

Now and then you might stumble on a half sibling or parent but cousins will make up most of the matches on your list.

They are – obviously – not at the same level of relatedness. Some are closer than others.

The closest are first cousins. The furtherst are fourth or fifth cousins depending on how far back the DNA testing company goes.

What do all these levels/grades mean? And what about terms like first cousin once removed?

This quick explainer has all the answers.


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Paternal and Maternal lineages ftdna Autosomal DNA test

How to Tell if a DNA Match is Maternal or Paternal (for Autosomal DNA Tests)

A Y-DNA test is great for researching your paternal lineage and finding matches on your father’s side of the family.

An mtDNA test is great for researching your maternal lineage and finding matches on your mother’s side of the family.

An autosomal DNA test is great for researching your ancestry and finding family matches. Unfortunately, unlike the other two tests, it cannot tell which side of your family those matches are from.

The results of a 23andMe, AncestryDNA or FTDNA autosomal DNA test will simply show a list of matches without specifying whether they are maternal or paternal.

This is … Read the rest >>

Family Tree DNA Y-DNA tests

FTDNA Y-37 vs. Y-67 vs. Y-111 vs. Y-500 Tests: Differences Plus Tips for Choosing the Best One

Wondering which Family Tree DNA Y-DNA test to order?

In this quick post, we’ll tell you the differences between the four Family Tree DNA tests and help you choose the right one for you needs.

Quick summary: the 37-marker test is a great starting place. The 67 and 111-marker tests provide more reliable and refined results about your relatedness to a certain match. The Y-500 is for expert genealogists.

When you want to research your father’s family line, a Y-DNA test is the place to start.

Because Y-DNA passes almost unchanged from father to son, you can trace your paternal … Read the rest >>

23AndMe DNA ancestry regions

How to Read Your DNA Ancestry Composition (Admixture) Report

Once you receive your DNA ancestry results whether it’s from 23andMe, FTDNA or AncestryDNA, one of the most interesting parts of the report is the breakdown of DNA ancestry regions.

You’ll see a colorful labelled chart with percentages showing how your DNA splits into various regions. There’ll also likely be a map with color-coded areas to indicate where your DNA originates from.

This part of the report is called admixture or ancestry composition.

Admixture refers to the genetic combination of previously separate populations which occurs when they interbreed.

Almost everyone today has DNA that is derived from the admixture … Read the rest >>