Before taking a DNA test, you need to know what you are taking. Unfortunately, not everyone knows that different types of DNA tests will provide the user with varying results by Eurofins genomics blog.
There are three major types of DNA tests available today:
Autosomal DNA testing
This testing is done on 22 pairs of non-gender specific chromosomes and will test the autosomes, all of them. The result you get from these tests is a haplogroup, meaning that it will tell you where your ancestors were from before the mass migration and conquest and population and trade centers made everyone just about mix together.
You can use these results for genealogy and family history purposes.
To clarify things, this test will be done on the Y chromosome of your father’s paternal lineage. If you have a son, he will get 50% of his Y from you and 50% from your father, but it is not part of the child’s DNA since women don’t have a Y chromosome. So, only males have Y-DNA, meaning that you can use this test to find where your father’s paternal ancestors came from before they mated with your mother.
The result will be a haplogroup, just like in autosomal testing, meaning that it will show you where your father’s paternal ancestors were from before people started to spread all over the world and mix.
This test is done on the mitochondria, a tiny organelle inside your cells that provides them with energy through cellular respiration. The mitochondria have their DNA separate from the rest of your DNA, which is why this test is done on the mitochondria.
You should know that not all mtDNAhaplogroups are connected to famous females like Eve. The only way to make sure is to test your mtDNA with another person who shares your mitochondrial haplogroup results coincide with yours, and then you are related.
What to consider before taking a DNA test
- What are you trying to find out?
Do you only want to find out where your ancestors were from, or do you want to find living relatives as well? What will you need, what will make you satisfied with the results, and what will get rid of this curiosity within yourself?
- How much will a test cost?
Some tests will cost next to nothing, but you need to be aware that the cheaper the test, the less accurate it is. There are also costly tests available that will give you accurate results.
- Personal Privacy/ Anonymity
You need to ask yourself if you want your testing results to be kept private or public. It is also essential to know how your privacy will be protected and who can see your results.
- Family testing kits
If you want to test for more than one person, family testing kits are a great way. You can choose between testing kits for two, three, four, and even ten people at a time, which will most likely be more affordable than doing individual tests.
In a nutshell, always know what you are getting yourself into. It is not advisable to take a DNA test because others have done it, and you feel like you need to follow the crowd, primarily if they do not provide accurate results.