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Why Take a DNA Test
1. Learn about Your Ethnicity
A question that each of us asks ourselves at least once in our life is, “Where did I come from?” Anyone can discover what their ethnic origins are going back 500-1,000 years or more by taking an DNA test. Your DNA is compared to the DNA from different regions around the world. After the comparison is made you are given an estimate of which region your DNA matches up with. This estimate is based on research today and may change as time goes on and more research is done and technology advances.
2. Break Through a Brick Wall
We are combining two powerful things — DNA and family trees — to provide a tool that can help us answer the questions we have about our story. Since we inherit DNA in a unique way (50% from mom and 50% from dad) the results are unique to each person and even a sibling wouldn’t have the exact same set of results that you would. In this way the adoption mystery of missing biological parents or close family can be solved.
3. Leave a Legacy
What is that one thing you wish you had from your grandfather or your great-grandmother? Our descendants may ask if DNA testing was done on us. So, take the test to preserve the genetic information. It’s one of those things if we don’t take advantage of it now someone will most likely be asking for it later and regretting that they don’t have it.
4. Connecting to a Cousin
DNA testing is being used to connect with others who are working on the same family lines to network with each other, verify research that has already been done, and share stories and photos. Each of us has part of the story and it’s our job to share it with others. It’s an opportunity to use other tools that search other records — the genetic records inside us and then comparing ourselves to others.
5. Making New Discoveries
No records available? If written records aren’t around to answer our questions, what is our next step? DNA is another record that is inside us, ready to tell us something unique about ourselves, and this genetic record can be tested to unlock a piece of our story. Each record has a purpose in providing us information and no other record, marriage, census or pension records can do what DNA can do. The best part is that DNA is the record that keeps on giving.
6. Discover Possible Health and Medical Issues
Using the extensive databases and associated research, DNA testing companies can predict your risk of developing certain diseases based on what gene variants are present in your code.
Already Taken A Test? Now What?
If you've already taken a DNA test but are not sure what to do with the results decide what you want to learn or accomplish. Here's how:
Step 1. Create or share you family tree.
You will have a better experience discovering your DNA and connecting with relatives if you share your family tree on the testing company's website.
Step 2. Identify how you want to use your DNA to learn more about your family.
A number of third party tools exist, such as GedMatch and DNAGedcom.com, while these tools are quite useful after testing, these vendors don't provide tests. In order to use these sites, you must first take an autosomal DNA test from a testing vendor.
More Information about DNA
Contact Scherry Lesanto
Wednesday morning 9 am to 12 pm
at the Las Vegas FamilySearch Library
Call (702) 382-9695 OR
for an appointment
Majors Players in the DNA Field
Provides kits fro testing yDNA (for partrilineal research), mtDNA (for matrilineal research), and autosomal DNA (called Family Finder). DNA is collected by scraping your cheek. FamilyTreeDNA provides cousin matches and a chromosome browser.
Tests autosomal DNA collected by spitting into a tube. Results are tied to your Ancestry.com account and family trees. AncestryDNA provides ethnicity results, cousin matches, migration groups, and ancestor groups.
Living DNA provides ethnicity estimates, including an advanced sub-region breakdown of genetic origins in the British Isles. The Living DNA family matching system, Family Networks, connects you with relatives with whom you share DNA. Results include autosomal DNA, yDNA, and mtDNA collected with a cheek swab.
10 Interesting DNA Facts
1. Even though it codes for all the information that makes up an organism, DNA is built using only four building blocks, the nucleotides adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine.
2. Every human being shares 99% of their DNA with every other human.
3. If you put all the DNA molecules in your body end to end, the DNA would reach from the Earth to the Sun and back over 600 times (100 trillion times six feet divided by 92 million miles).
4. A parent and child share 99.5% of the same DNA.
5. You have 98% of your DNA in common with a chimpanzee.
6. If you could type 60 words per minute, eight hours a day, it would take approximately 50 years to type the human genome.
7. DNA is a fragile molecule. About a thousand times a day, something happens to it to cause errors. This could include errors during transcription, damage from ultraviolet light, or any of a host of other activities. There are many repair mechanisms, but some damage isn't repaired. This means you carry mutations! Some of the mutations cause no harm, a few are helpful, while others can cause diseases, such as cancer. A new technology called CRISPR could allow us to edit genomes, which might lead us to the cure of such mutations as cancer, Alzheimer's and, theoretically, any disease with a genetic component.
8. Scientists at Cambridge University believe humans have DNA in common with the mud worm and that it is the closest invertebrate genetic relative to us. In other words, you have more in common, genetically speaking, with a mud worm than you do with a spider or octopus or cockroach.
9. Humans and cabbage share about 40-50% common DNA.
10. Friedrich Miescher discovered DNA in 1869, although scientists did not understand DNA was the genetic material in cells until 1943. Prior to that time, it was widely believed that proteins stored genetic information.