Over the past few decades, DNA analysis has become a very popular way that people are learning about their ancestry and genetic makeup. For a lot of the people that try it, looking into their family history proves to be a very interesting pastime that can open up all sorts of new avenues of exploration and ideas about who they are and where they come from.
1. What exactly is DNA analysis?
To understand how spitting in a tube can translate to infinite information about your ancestry and where you came from, it is important to get a grasp on the basics. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is in every single cell throughout your body and is what distinguishes you as unique individuals.
You can think of it as your our own special genetic code that determines everything about you, from your eye color, to certain aspects of your personality, and even health factors. Yet as much as your DNA is what tells you apart from others, many people forget that about 99.9 percent of DNA in humans is identical.
2. Discover your family history in the privacy of your own home
Thanks to scientific advances, you now have the possibility of testing your DNA in the comfort of your own home. First, choose a DNA testing provider such as CRI Genetics. Then, the test kit is shipped to you, with instructions on how to complete it. In a place of your choosing, you collect cells, typically, using either a cheek swab or a saliva collection tube, and then send them directly to a lab. Once the sample has been analyzed, the test results are either retuned to you by mail, or posted on a secure website, where you view your information.
3. Understand where your family really came from
Tests all work differently but most of them break things down into several key categories or population groups. The four main population groups are Indigenous American, European, East Asian and African. It does not identify a person’s race, but instead gives an estimate of genetic heritage. For example, you can discover the specific region of a country that your ancestors came from. This can lead to all sorts of interesting discussions and even help guide future travel plans to learn about where you come from.
The report will also determine what populations you match, which then allows it to suggest possible migratory patterns of your ancestors. One of the most fascinating components in many tests is the personalized map, which will allow you to see your family’s connections to many parts of the world.
4. Give yourself the opportunity to explore your roots
The geographical feature is what interests many people who have tried genetic DNA tests. Most adults grew up listening to stories from their grandparents and other relatives about emigration and family history. Ancestry DNA testing can help you to better understand these stories and provide some context for the journey your family took in order for you to end up where you are today. Or maybe you’re working on a family tree and have hit a wall, or unsure from where to trace something, DNA testing can provide some really helpful indications.
5. Connect with your family by bonding over what you share
As more and more people have sought out their origins, DNA testing has become easier and more affordable than ever. Even a basic kit can provide you and your family with a wealth of information. If for nothing else than a conversation started, DNA testing is often a great way to bring the family together and discover new things about the past. You might come to understand yourself and the people you care about in a way you never imagined before.