DNA Genealogy

DNA genealogy is becoming increasingly popular in the world.

In a DNA test, samples are compared, so you can tell if the person A and the person B are related to each other. One condition must be fulfilled: one must have the saliva samples of the two persons.

An excellent example of this is the paternity test, which is performed with a DNA analysis. If the sample is missing from a person, the test cannot be performed.

DNA genealogy is based on various DNA samples that are stored in a database and then compared. In practice, the DNA test should determine how high the supposed percentage of origin composition the person who submitted their sample has. So the result looks something like the one presented in the show Preverjeno.

This tells us what percentage of our DNA comes from a region. Example: A woman from Austria learned that her share in hereditary material is 52% Germanic and 48% Slavic.

However, with the help of this DNA analysis, one cannot find out the name, surname, occupation, place of residence etc. of our ancestors. This would only be possible if our ancestors gave a saliva sample with all the data 100, 200, 300 years ago and so on. But at that time you did not know the DNA analysis yet.

First things you have to be aware of when performing a DNA analysis

First of all we have to point out that we have to be very careful about who carries out the genome analysis or, to be more precise, to whom we entrust our DNA sample. There are numerous (foreign) unaudited companies offering DNA analysis on the Internet. A company, for example, promises to inform its customers even from which Italian village they originate. Even before the saliva sample delivery, the company can confirm that they have Italian roots.

Another example is the journalist Charlsie Agro and her sister Carly. Charlsie and Carly are twin sisters, so we should have the same ancestors. For CBC News (Twins get some “mystifying” results when they put DNA ancestry kits to the test) they did an anonymous DNA test and got completely different results. For this reason, with the help of DR. Gerstein made Yale a control DNA test. And this control test rated all 5 tests negative.

California State University employee Hazel Kelly has analysed in his article 5 Things to Know Before You Take a Home DNA Test how serious the providers of a DNA test really are. Assisted by DR. Jason Bush has discovered that a human genome consists of about 3 billion base pairs. And so, a genetic analysis would cost about $ 10,000. Therefore, ISPs do not perform the analysis of the entire genetic material but analyse about half a million or 0.016% of the genetic information. For this reason, a large part of the genetic analyses, which cost up to € 500, are very poorly done.

DR. Janet Stemwedel of San Jose State University warns that data from such a DNA analysis is in most cases an easy prey for criminals, or that they continue to trade with that data without the owner’s knowledge.

Erin Brodwin, Business Insider, in his DNA-testing company 23andMe has signed a $ 300 million deal with a drug giant and is following in the footsteps of companies conducting genetic analyses. He was interested in what these companies do with the information gained from a DNA analysis. He has found that the family data business is quite lucrative. This DNA data continues to sell very well. Especially insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are very interested.

I recommend you read these articles:

Philipp Schaumann: DNA tests and privacy. Freely accessible on the website of safety culture.

Margarete Stokowski: Genealogy DNA Esotericism at a special price. Freely accessible on the website of the Medienhaus Spiegel.

Markus Falkner: Genetics – man is half a banana. Freely accessible on the website of the newspaper Morgen Post.

Lucie Aubourg: DNA testing is a popular gift in the US. Freely accessible on the website of the media company N-TV.

The DNA data trade and the interpretation of the DNA data

Doctor Mark Stoneking from Max Planck Institute Leipzig warns (article Sophie Albers Ben Chamo: What genealogy by DNA test really can, Stern) that the results or data of a DNA analysis are misleading. The results are presented in percentages, which are calculated on the basis of average statistics. The fact is that nowhere in the world there is a 100% “racial purity” (no population is 100% racially pure). Dr. Stoneking claims that it is misleading to claim that someone, for example, is X% Scandinavian.

Doctor Mark Thomas, the professor of evolutionary genetics at University College, London, has pointed to another problem in his article to claim someone’s “Viking ancestors” no better than astrology, published in The Guardian. A human inherits different parts of the genetic material of his ancestors. On top of that doubles the number of genetic materials. That’s why we have several ancestors as parts of the DNA. And we must also note that man has always been mobile. For this reason, the result looks like half of Europe and one half of Asia are related, and so the majority of clients get almost the same result. In practice, a DNA analysis does not reveal any differences between French and Germans. The result is rendered in a generalized form. The vendor promises that the DNA analysis and its results would be very accurate, but in reality, this is not the case.The results can for example state that one originates from Eastern Europe, which is a very broad concept.

Of course, the companies that carry out a DNA analysis have a diametrical opinion. But their results do not confirm that. What such results of a DNA analysis look like can be found on the Internet, I recommend you check out the DNA ancestry kits website.

A DNA analysis is an interesting tool, but in practice does not provide much information, and only confirms already known facts. Everyone should first think to whom he provides his genetic material and is aware of the risk that his sample may be used without his knowledge for completely different purposes.

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