FAQs for Ancestry by DNA Testing
For a comprehensive glossary of terms relating to DNA Ancestry, please click here
Please select a question from the list below. If you are unable to find an answer to your specific question please email your enquiry directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01273 227544
What is the Relationship between Race and Genetics?
The biological component of race is largely based on the genetic structure of human populations. This structure is a nested hierarchy from East to West where populations in the Americas and the South Pacific are a subset of the genetic diversity found in Eurasia which itself is a subset of the diversity found in Africa.
It is clear that the human species is relatively young. As a species, we most likely originated in east Africa, according to most archeologists, 100,000 to 300,000 years ago, and diverged as groups, expanded, moved, and settled the globe. During these migrations, and in the time since, there has been some degree of independent evolution of the populations that settled the various continents of the world. The simplest evidence of this evolution can be seen in the differences in the frequencies of different versions (“alleles”) of genes. Generally, we see that alleles found in one population are also found in all populations and the alleles that are the most common in one are also common in others. These similarities between populations highlight the recent common origin of all populations and strong connections between populations throughout human history. However, there are examples of DNA variations, also called genetic markers, which can be used to estimate the ancestral origins of a person or population.
It should be clear by now that race is a phenomenon dependent upon multiple variables. In our procedures we focus on a person’s genetic ancestry and not their race. Your DNA has no recorded history of your political, social, personal or religious beliefs. It is a simple code written in four letters that records all of the changes in the DNA from one generation to the next. We identify and report those variations within the DNA code that reflect your genetic ancestry most succinctly. They are like fingerprints and snow flakes, unique and wildly complex.
What is BioGeographical Ancestry (BGA)?
How is BioGeographical Ancestry estimated?
Estimates of BGA can help reconnect individuals separated by adoption, or some other event, with their ancestral populations. Even if a person is not particularly motivated to reconnect with ancestors, he or she can uncover the past of their family either to verify family legends or to search for forgotten roots.
In the near future, we hope to allow customers to compare their ancestral proportions to others in their family, town, city, or region who have chosen to participate. Because it is based on DNA this new tool will provide the most accurate demographics data possible.
What is the medical significance of BGA estimates?
How is BGA analysis different from mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomal ancestry analysis?
BGA provide more specific information about ancestry?
Have there been any recent changes to the test?
My proportions were 85% European and 15% East Asian, and the East Asian part surprised me. How reliable is the 15% part of the profile?
Your range bars and confidence contours given with the analysis are also part of your answer. The values within these determined ranges represent other possible outcomes that are statistically significant but are less likely. Therefore, if your range bar on the bar graph includes zero, you should consider that possibility.
How can I confirm the significance of a low percentage of admixture?
You can obtain the admixture proportions for your father and mother. Lets say you register with 4% African and you want to know whether this 4% is in error or is accurate. You obtain the admixture proportions from your parents and each is 100% European. Chances are the 4% was a result of statistical noise. However, if your mother was 15% African and your father was 100% European, your non-zero percentage of African is likely to be an accurate indicator of African ancestry.
I thought I was purely of Scandinavian origin, but my results show minor East Asian admixture. How is this result possible?
How accurate are admixture scores of less than 10%?
Yes, here is a selection of relevant publications: