At home DNA tests are becoming popular

Tony Webster

Ancestry DNA and 23andMe are 2 different sites that allow people to test their DNA. This image was originally posted to Flickr by Tony Webster at[email protected]/47400098641 (archive). It was reviewed on 2 April 2019 by FlickreviewR 2 and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.

At-home DNA tests are becoming more popular than ever. With sites and programs such as 23andme and AncestryDNA, people are finding more and more about their ancestral heritage. Sites like these work by comparing one’s DNA to others present in their database already. It can match parents and children as well as first, second, third, and fourth cousins. Other sites can determine what percentage you are of certain ethnicities and nationalities and what your ethnic origins are. DNA databases like these have become easily accessible and affordable where people can buy DNA testing kits and get their results within a month.

Some students in the SPA community have done these particular DNA tests to determine and track their family’s heritage and lineage.

“My family did mainly because my dad’s side of the family has always been interested in tracking our family heritage and trying to identify relatives because his especially is super interesting and ambiguous. My family and I thought it would be really cool to see how me and my sibling’s DNA is broken down,” senior Izzy Medrano said.

[The program] did tell us about some relatives we didn’t know we had which was pretty interesting.”

— senior Michael Moran

In addition to tracking lineage and heritage, these sites can provide users with health reports showing them what potential health issues they are genetically predisposed to. Some sites are more accurate than others in this category.

“My dad and my brother have done DNA testing and I think it mostly told us stuff we already knew. The program we used gave us an idea of where our ancestors were from and also other important things in our genetic history like diseases. [The program] did tell us about some relatives we didn’t know we had which was pretty interesting,” senior Michael Moran said.

“I really want my mom to do one of these tests because she’s adopted and we don’t know very much about her ancestry so I think that would be really interesting,” senior Annabelle Bond said.

23andMe and AncestryDNA are the two most popular genetic testing companies and have over 28 million users. 23andMe is generally better for tracking genealogy and genetic diseases in one’s family whereas AncestryDNA specializes more in tracking heritage and lineage. As more and more people use these sites, it’s more likely to help people find their distant relatives as the companies compare DNA sent in and as more people sent their DNA in, the more people there are to compare to.