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Is There a DNA Test to Determine Ethnicity?


Everyone has heard of the acronym DNA. It refers to ‘deoxyribonucleic acid’, which is a substance that is present in every cell of every person’s body on earth. Each person’s DNA is unique to that person, and it can be used for identification or matching purposes over a range of different scenarios. Most people are familiar with paternity testing using DNA, or connecting a specific person to a crime scene, but it can also be used to figure out ethnicity.


Why Trace Your Ancestry? In the vast majority of cases, anyone seeking a DNA test to determine ethnicity is doing so for informational purposes. Basically, if you want to… • dig into your past or your ancestry • find out more about who you really are • find out where your family’s history begins …then a DNA test is a great place to start.


What Is a Haplogroup? A DNA test that is searching for ethnicity will first tell you which Haplogroup you belong to. A Haplogroup is a family group that can be matched with other family groups with common ancestral origins. Different Haplogroups are associated with people who live in specific areas of the world. Groups such as Asians, Africans, Eastern and Western Europeans, Native Americans, Middle Eastern and Australian Aboriginals all have specific and unique Haplogroups.


What You May Discover If you decide to take a DNA test to help you dig into your ancestral origins and ethnicity, you may discover things like: • Names of relatives you didn’t know you had • Ancient family lines stretching back thousands of years • Confirmation of elements of your family tree • Which ethnic group your family originated from


What Is ‘Autosomal’ DNA Testing? Autosomal DNA testing is a form of testing that makes it possible to find family members across all lines of the family tree. This means the results of the testing aren’t limited to only direct paternal or maternal lines. All 23 chromosomes are analyzed with this type of test, which makes it more complete and offers greater possibilities. Genetic information that has been passed down through generations from both parents is part of the equation, which makes determining ethnicity more viable.


How Is DNA Collected? Despite the complexity of going back into the past to extract genetic information, the DNA test itself is remarkably simple. Basically, all that is required is a saliva sample, and collecting it involves nothing more than swiping a cotton swab across the inside of your cheek. In some cases, a nurse will collect the sample, but in others you may do it yourself as part of a kit.


Points to Consider If you have any preconceived notions about your ancestry and ethnicity, it’s important to keep a few points in mind. Your DNA is your DNA and it will always be the same no matter where you live. Any DNA test you take traces your ancestral origins, so how many times you or your family members have moved around is irrelevant. What you will find out from a DNA test is the general ethnicity of your ancestors and the region of the world they came from.


Possible Limitations Even though the DNA that is passed down along both male and female lines is undiluted and the testing is very accurate, there are possible limitations. The primary one is that any DNA testing you have done will only represent a small percentage of your overall ethnic ancestry. The farther you go back, the more ancestors come into the mix that contributed to your overall DNA profile. Still, having a DNA test for ethnicity will likely reveal many facts about your history that you were completely unaware of.


Advice DNAForce is a trusted DNA testing facility. For more information on their services, visit their website at http://www.dnatest.ca/.

Is There a DNA Test to Determine Ethnicity?  

DNAForce is a trusted DNA testing facility. For more information on their services, visit their website at http://www.dnatest.ca/.

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