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The Science Behind Ancestry DNA Tests

The Science Behind Ancestry DNA Tests

DNA testing is a relatively new scientific process and the complicated scientific steps can be perplexing to the layman. For those of us interested in the science behind Ancestry DNA tests but who lack a Ph.D. in biological science, DNA tests can seem like nonsense. You just swab someone’s cheek and learn detailed information about their ancestors? How does it work? Thankfully, here the scientists at Dynamic DNA offer a quick overview of the science behind ancestry DNA tests below.

How Ancestry DNA Tests Work

Ancestry DNA tests work by comparing DNA code sequences. 99.9% of DNA between two people are identical. The .01% in code sequences that differ are called genetic markers. It is these genetic markers that are key to Ancestry DNA tests. Only in identical twins will those genetic markers be identical. But people who are closely related are likely to have very similar genetic markers. The key to DNA testing is knowing where to look within the DNA sequence to find these markers and knowing how to compare them. With an Ancestry DNA Test, our lab looks at many of your genetic markers to create a profile for you. That profile is then compared to a database of other genetic profiles to find which DNA profiles are closest to your own. By comparing your profile to other regional profiles we can estimate how much of your DNA likely came from each particular region.

mtDNA and Y-DNA Are Key

The two key aspects to ancestry DNA tests lie in the Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the Y-Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA).
Mitochondrial DNA is unique in that it is only passed through your mother’s side. As such you can track an unbroken maternal line that can be traced back thousands of years.  Using your mtDNA as the genetic marker, Dynamic DNA can discover your Mitochondrial haplogroup. A haplogroup is a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor, thus a Mitochondrial haplogroup will allow us to estimate where your maternal line originated from, and how they may have migrated over time.  
The Y-Chromosome DNA is basically the male side of your DNA sample. Like mtDNA it is passed through the paternal line and allows you to discover the same information on the other side of the family. This test differs a little in that it only exists in the Y-chromosome so only males can participate in this test. If you are a woman you are able to have your father, brother, or grandfather take the test to find your results.

Contact Dynamic DNA Today

If you are interested in learning more about your heritage across the history of the world, then Dynamic DNA has the ancestry DNA tests for you. If you have questions you can contact us here, or if you prefer, give us a call at 417-319-1047 to discuss your testing options in person. 

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