Category Archives for Blog

Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage provide their customers with chromosome browsers

What is a Chromosome Browser and What is It Used For in DNA Testing?

If you’ve been dabbling in genetic DNA tests, perhaps researched a bit about it or even taken a test yourself, you’ve probably heard of a chromosome browser.

What is it and is it important in DNA testing?

To answer the second part of the question, yes it is very important in DNA testing.

Specifically, it comes in handy during DNA match analysis. That is when you are trying to figure out how exactly your DNA matches are related to you and which ancestors you share.

To answer the first part of the question, a chromosome browser is a tool that … Read the rest >>

Dog DNA tests reveal dogs to be much closer to wolves than originally thought

How Much Of Your Dog’s DNA is Wolf? (Hint: Almost All of It)

Your dog is 99.9% wolf.

That might be hard to believe considering the gentle mannerisms and cute looks of some breeds. But most of the dog breeds you see today are as a result of artificial selection by humans.

The first German Shepherd for instance, dates back to one dog that lived just over 100 years ago in Germany.

But all dogs share a genetic history that goes back tens of thousands of years; all the way back to a now-extinct wolf species from which researchers theorize all dogs descended from.

Today, despite having tens of thousands of years to … Read the rest >>

How to Use DNA Testing services like AncestryDNA to find your birth family

A DNA Testing Guide for Adoptees: Tips & Resources to Find Your Birth Family

DNA testing through services like AncestryDNA and FTDNA is incredibly helpful for adoptees trying to track down their biological parents.

Years ago the best way for adoptees to find their biological family members was using adoption and family records which can be hard to access and don’t always help.

Reunion registries like, and the International Soundex Reunion Registry are helpful but they depend a lot on luck. Both parties must be actively seeking each other for the best chances of success.

The rise of consumer DNA testing has provided another much more effective tool for adoptees to track … Read the rest >>

Contacting your matches after a DNA ancestry test

How to Reach Out to DNA Matches (Without Being Annoying)

Taking a DNA ancestry test is the easy part. There are plenty of excellent options to choose from and the process is fairly quick.

Then comes the hardest part; trying to connect the dots.

The results can only tell you so much. You’ll have to contact the matches to be sure you are connected and get more details that might prove helpful in your own search.

Many DNA testing services offer ways to contact your matches. Most use an internal messaging system but others like Family Tree DNA allow you to contact matches directly via email.

However, getting a response … Read the rest >>

Using family records (in addition to an FTDNA or test) to research your family history

5 Ways to Research Your Family History (In Addition to getting a DNA Test)

Researching your family is like solving a large complex puzzle. An FTDNA, 23andMe or test may fill a lot of missing pieces but it won’t tell you the whole story.

If you are serious about researching your family history, you’ll have to do more than just get a DNA test. You’ll need to expand your search and find more sources to fill in the missing gaps.

Here are five ways you can do that.

1. Talk to Your Family Members

Family stories can be surprisingly informative. The trick is to know how to draw them out.

Start with your … Read the rest >>

The best books on genetics and best DNA test advances

The 5 Best Books on Genetics and Genetic Testing

Whether you want to learn more about genetics or discover the best DNA test technologies, here are five books for genetic enthusiasts and amateur geneticists.

They are not exactly the deep highly-technical kind of stuff a professional would appreciate but they are perfect if you are just looking for some general knowledge. It includes books on both DNA ancestry testing as well as genetic health screening.

You can find all these books on Amazon. Most of them are available in multiple formats including Paperback and Kindle.

1. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

DNA testing is … Read the rest >>

Ancestry DNA test

Five Things You Should Know Before Buying a DNA Genetic Testing Kit

DNA genetic tests are all the range these days. But don’t get one without knowing exactly what you are getting into. These powerful ancestry-tracing tools and enormous family finder databases can have unexpected results; some good, some not so much.

Before you get a DNA test from 23andMe, Family Tree DNA or any of the other genetic testing companies here are five things you should know.

1. It Could Break Your Family

Most people get a DNA test out of simple curiosity.

They want to find out their ancestry and see if they have some second or third cousins out … Read the rest >>

AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FTDNA use centimorgans to compare DNA matches

What Are centiMorgans and How Do You Use Them to Find DNA Matches?

When you get an autosomal DNA test whether from AncestryDNA, 23andMe or Family Tree DNA, you can use the results to find possible DNA matches.

All genealogical DNA testing services use centiMorgans to estimate (emphasis on ‘estimate’) how close you are with someone else. Depending on the number of centiMorgans across your shared DNA segments they could be close family members such as a parent or grandparent or a relative further away such as a second cousin.

So what exactly is a centiMorgan (abbreviated as cM) and how do you use it to find and analyze DNA matches.


A … Read the rest >>

Older fathers pass on more mutations & a 23andMe health review will not show these potential mutations

Why Men Should Father Children Earlier to Avoid Passing on Genetic Mutations

When is the best time to have kids?

For many people it depends on a wide variety of factors including career trajectory, health and culture. But science generally recommends doing it earlier.

For women fertility is obviously a major reason for doing it when younger. There is also the increased risk of complications like ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and miscarriage.

But it’s not just women who should be worried about getting kids later in life. Men too have a ticking biological clock.

Scientists already know that older fathers have a higher risk of bearing children with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, … Read the rest >>

Who are the genetic Adam and Eve - can't be traced via Family Tree DNA

Tracing Human Geneology: Who Are The Genetic Adam and Eve?

Genealogy testing services like Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA can only get you so far into the past. Autosomal DNA testing for instance, the most popular type of DNA test, can only trace your ancestry up to your second cousins.

To study the human lineage much father back tens of thousands of years ago researchers have had to use more advanced methods like genome sequencing and restriction mapping.

In 1987 they struck gold.

They analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of 147 people drawn from five different populations around the world.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to son and … Read the rest >>