Sunday, 3 February 2013

Something for the Weekend 16

Carlo from the DNA testing company EasyDNA has offered to pen a brief and basic article on his particular area of expertise. So here we go...

Information about Ancestry DNA testing and Genealogy

A good number of people often associate deoxyribonucleic acid (
DNA) with paternity cases and criminal investigations. However, ancestry DNA testing is a new technique used to trace one's ancestry and help complete a genealogy tree. Rummaging through old photos with relatives and seeking out family stories is of course one small aspect of learning your ancestry. But ancestry testing takes things to a genetic level. This type of testing allows the reconstructing of family lineage or ancestral origins via the analysis of a person’s DNA. Ancestry testing can aid in the determination of whether two individuals share the same ancestors or are even biologically related in the first place.

Ancestry DNA testing is now becoming an important component element of genealogy research. Ancestral origins testing and genealogy research are helpful in tracing family descent and history and genealogists often resort to such tests to help them confirm lineage. This allows many to learn about their personal ancestry and history in an accurate way. A DNA test can be done to confirm whether two people share a common paternal ancestry or perhaps maternal ancestry.

Maternal and Paternity Lineage

Maternal ancestry can be determined by analyzing what is known as MtDNA, or mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is a special type of DNA which is passed down the maternal lines and tends to undergo mutations very seldom. Any two people who share the same MtDNA blueprint also share the same lineage from their maternal side. Through MtDNA testing, scientists can also work back to ancient maternal origins and tell the individuals tested which studied ethnic groups their maternal ancestors came from. They can, furthermore, tell what geographical regions their maternal ancestors are associated with.

Paternal lineage is also quite simple to establish by testing the Y chromosome. Males who share the same Y blueprint also share a common paternal line. The only drawback in this test is the fact that females cannot directly test their paternal lineage as they do not have Y chromosomes. However, they can simply ask a willing male relative to provide a sample of their DNA and use this sample to discover her paternal lineage.

Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphisms) are changes at various points in the genetic code from person to person, which allows each generation to recombine. There are two processes used namely: hapblock matching (counting the number and sizes of matches from one point to another) and bio geographical analysis (matching an individual’s SNP frequencies to that of the geographic population’s origins).

Companies that provide ancestry DNA tests like easyDNA have access to huge databases of information. In these databases they have the genetic information of most of the studied anthropological groups. What they do is compare your DNA with the DNA of the various anthropological groups to see which of these groups share a DNA profile that is most similar to yours. Once they have connected you with your ancient ancestors, they can also directly link you to your geogenetic origins; in other words, they can tell you what part of the world your ancestors originated from. This is possible because scientists and anthropologists have connected the anthropological groups they have studied to their region of origin.

Ancestry DNA testing and genealogy are undoubtedly very important tools within the field of ancestry and genealogy. Such tests are offered by various online companies that may assist you in your voyage to discover your roots. Tracing your roots may be a very informative and life changing experience for many and with ancestry DNA testing offered, you have chance to do just that.

By Carlo Lamanna Chapelle

If anyone else would like to pen a short article on any aspect of genealogy (and maybe even give their company, product or publication a little plug) then email me at .

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