What is an Ancestry DNA testing, and should you take one?

Many times we are presented with an elusive question of what our ancestry is, whether we truly are of the ancestry that we are told as we grow up, or curiosity gets the best of us and we want to gain more insight as to where we truly hail from. Increasingly popular, an ancestry DNA test uncovers not only our ancestry, but also gives an insight to our health and history, and a complete picture of our genetic makeup, and may even serve as the vestibule through which we connect to relatives that may reside across the globe.

While many ancestry DNA tests just uncover the basic origin of an individual, some tests can uncover history as far back as the Neanderthals, and even show existing relatives across the globe.

Types of ancestry DNA tests available

There are several types of tests available. The first test is the Y chromosome test, also called the Y-DNA test, which only explores the paternal side of ancestry.

There is also the Mitochondrial DNA test, also known as the mtDNA test, which tracks the mother’s line heritage. It uses the mitochondria in cells to accomplish this task. It is worth noting that whereas the Y-DNA test mentioned earlier is for men only, the mtDNA test can be taken by both men and women.

The Autosomal DNA test is the last type of test, and unlike the Y-DNA and the mtDNA test, it focuses all family lines. It explores both the maternal and paternal tracks, and gives a more comprehensive and far reaching DNA test result.

AncestryDNA is an example of an autosomal DNA test, and it can also be taken by both men and women, and it is the most recommended since it delves deeper than any other DNA test available.

Privacy issues in ancestry DNA testing

  • While many people may be concerned as to how much of their personal details may be divulged in the process of DNA testing,it gives assurances that the results of DNA testing are stored securely in a protected database. Further, during testing, the laboratory processing the DNA does not have any contact information, or even any personal information. Only a unique activation code is used to track the DNA during the testing stage. After testing is complete, the DNA sample is stored securely. Lastly, once DNA test results are concluded, a person can opt to permanently delete their sample, and no one else can ever see this sample or any associations in future. AncestryDNA also does not claim any right to ownership of any DNA samples processed, and each individual has full ownership rights.

In Conclusion, it is safe to say that an ancestry test is important because it is a pathway that uncovers our ancestry, long lost relatives as well as gives a history of our health by giving a complete mapping of our DNA. For those individuals seeking to fill out the gaps in their family trees, or looking to uncover the history behind genetic traits and so forth can acquire a DNA testing kit and be well on their way to solving the mystery. With several DNA tests available in the market, one can choose the most suitable, depending on the type of results they seek to get. AncestryDNA however is a more comprehensive and robust test that will certainly give a full picture.