DNA Testing: How and What?

DNA is the only source of information of our existence, it contains the data of our history and our present. You have answers to unrequited questions related to our medical care and even to our ancestors. At school, we were taught that there is a dominant gene for brown eyes and a recessive gene for blues. Speaking of reality, it is not so easy for human traits to pass from generation to generation. Most traits develop under the influence of several genes, each of which has its own small effect.

Before the year 2000, we have relied on oral and written communications to trace genealogical trees. But the year 2000 arrived with the age of DNA genealogical tests. This gave genealogists the opportunity to use scientific methods to test relationships through ancestry DNA testing.

As the power of calculation increased, researchers have been able to link molecular differences in DNA with specific human characteristics, including behavioral traits such as education. Each of these genetic variants can explain a small amount of variation in the population, but when summarized, they can explain more about why we see differences in the people around us.

The DNA test is done to collect this information and the umbrella of DNA testing is huge. For tests, the DNA is extracted from the cells and sent to a laboratory for study. The scope of DNA testing is enormous; If we obtain answers to our medical care, we can obtain information about any future illness and take corrective measures in the present to stop the disease. In addition, the DNA of a newborn child can be sequenced to calculate the polygenic score and this can be used to predict how the child will perform in school for academic achievement or sports.

These days, there are numerous companies for DNA tests that can help you learn what your DNA contains. In large part, there are three types of DNA tests, let’s look at each of these.

1) Autosomal DNA

This is the most popular DNA testing technique and analyzes the DNA that a person has inherited from their family tree. The results of this test provide an estimate of the ethnicity or regions of the world where one’s ancestors have lived in recent years. Autosomal DNA examines hundreds of natural DNA orthographic variations called SNP nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The general pattern of these SNPs is compared to those of people around the world to determine the DNA that has been inherited from a particular ancestor. But the more you back down, the less DNA you have inherited from a particular ancestor. Referring to this, the test can link it with relatives as distant as third or fourth cousins ​​and no farther than that.

2) Mitochondrial DNA tests

Mitochondrial DNA is the genetic material within mitochondria and is generally passed on from the mother. The test analyzes only specific portions (16,000 base pairs) of the mtDNA and compares them with established samples. In addition, because it does not contain DNA from both parents, it does not change with each generation and, therefore, provides accurate results for maternal ancestry.

3) DNA-Y

We have chromosome 23, which has two versions, DNA X and Y. Women have 2 X chromosomes while men have an X and Y. The Y-DNA test only examines the Y chromosome and, therefore, provides the information of the paternal line.

There are two subgroups of Y-DNA tests, the first is a Short Tandem Repetition (STR) test that classifies the DNA section according to its repeat pattern. The second is the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that works similarly to the autosomal test and tests around 30,000 SNPs.

All three types of DNA tests provide information about your ancestors, but you must identify what information you are looking for before registering for these tests. As more and more companies collect data, the accuracy of the data is constantly improving. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking about having a DNA test but do not forget that DNA tests have much more advanced capabilities.