Sunday, January 20, 2013

DNA Test for Genealogy - Who Am I?

There has been a lot pf press for several years about using DNA testing to help with researching your family tree. A couple of the earlier ones required that you test a male member of the family - preferably your father or brother. As I don't have any male relatives living near me, I kind of dismissed the idea of doing testing. Now, a very popular genealogy website, has come out with a test that can be taken by either males or females. It is an autosomal test, meaning it tests all 23 chromosomes. When they offered 50% off to try the test as a subscriber to their website, I decided to look into it.

Ancestry DNA kit
All the tests have pros and cons associated with them, but this test gets fairly good reviews from those who have taken it. So I bit the bullet and ordered the test, which arrived last week.Here is what is in the box.
Testing kit and return envelope

The first thing you need to do is register your kit with Ancestry so that they can track the specimen that you provide. By assigning a number, the privacy of the donor is protected. As much as anything can be protected in this day and age. You are not allowed to eat, drink or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to taking the test. At this point I was still under the assumption that you swab the inside of your cheek for the specimen. Isn't that what they always show on CSI? Wrong.This test requires you to spit in the provided plastic tube. At first when I saw the "Fill to" line, I thought I had to fill up half the tube! Then I looked closer and realized that there is a small container within the tube that captures the spit. Still, it was pretty gross. I would have rather done a swab test.

my specimen bag
ready for the mail
After you fill to the required line you snap the lid closed, which releases a solution in with the spit. Then you remove the solution cap and replace it with a screw on lid. The container is then placed into a sealed bag, eerily labeled "Biohazard". Ewww... The bag is then inserted into the provided mailer, and returned to the lab. Mine went out in Saturday's mail, and with the holiday on Monday I guess it will be mid-week before they receive it. When my results are ready (normally in 6-8 weeks) I will receive an email. The nice thing about being a subscriber to Ancestry is that if they find any matches with other people also on Ancestry we can connect. It will be interesting to see what happens with all this.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Spit in a tube to find your ancestors? Who doesn't love science? Can't wait to hear the results!!!