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23andme review: will it reveal all about your DNA?

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23andme review

23andme is a genetic testing service which analyzes your DNA to provide you with an assortment of information about both you and your family history.

By providing a sample of saliva 23andme offer a to help you to understand how you are made up, where your DNA originates and data to map out your ancestry.

The intent of this review is to explore 23andme and find out if it can really provide you with the information you want  from your DNA.

FAQ

What is 23andme?

23andme is a DNA testing service which uses genotyping to scientifically analyze DNA obtained from a saliva sample. They provide you with information about your ancestry and genetic traits.

How does 23andme work?

23andme works by using a sample of your saliva to scientifically analyze your DNA. From your DNA reports 23andme provides you with an array of information about you and your family..

Who should use 23andme?

23andme should be used by anyone seeking more information about their family ancestry or contemporary DNA family.

How much does 23andme cost?

The 23andme ancestry DNA test kits costs $99, you can also purchase a health and ancestry option for $199.00

Is 23andme worth the money?

At a cost of $99, 23andme is one of the more affordable DNA testing kits on the market. If you are simply interested in exploring your family ancestry and potentially connecting with unknown relatives worldwide then yes it’s arguably worth the money.

Is 23andme safe?

23andme DNA analysis is carried out in US laboratories that are certified to meet CLIA standards. (The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988). 23andme also has various security measure in place to ensure your information remains confidential.

Where to buy 23andme?

23andme DNA test kits can be purchased from the official website.

Does 23andme really work?

Ancestry percentages, which you will discover in your DNA personalised report, are derived from an effective, well-tested system that provides you with ancestry estimated down to the 0.1 percent.

How long does it take to get results from 23andme?

Once you have sent your saliva collection kit back to 23andme it should take six to eight weeks to receive your DNA reports online.

Why do people take DNA tests?

People take DNA tests for various reasons. This includes discovering and exploring their ancestry, testing for hereditary diseases and paternity or maternity tests.

Can I buy 23andme as a gift?

Yes you can purchase a 23andme DNA test kit as a gift. You can even add a gift message if you choose to do so.

Are there any 23andme alternatives?

Yes there are a plethora of alternative DNA test kits on the market. These include National Geographic Genographic Project, MyHeritage DNA and AncestryDNA.

Benefits

23andme allows you to explore your family ancestry and develop a better understanding of who you are and where your family came from. It also allows you to explore your distant ancient ancestry and connect with people who have similar DNA.

Here we will explore the benefits of 23andme in finer detail:

Ancestry Composition

We are living in the information age. This means can find out almost anything by typing a few words into an online search engine, yet the importance of our ancestry and heritage appears to be fading.

By using well-refined genealogy practices 23andme are changing the way we can trace back our family line.  Thanks to modern science you can use your DNA to tell you where in the world your ancestors lived more than 500 years ago.  

With 23andme you can trace the origins of your DNA from over 150 regions worldwide.You can even find out when different ancestries were introduced into your family. This may provide you with some surprising information about where in the world your ancestors came from.

By exploring maternal and paternal haplogroups, a group of genes inherited from a parent. You can link parts of your ancestry to a particular society of people dating back to over one thousand years.

Understanding Family DNA

Not only does 23andme let you explore your historical ancestry it allows you to explore your current DNA family.

23andme allows you to discover the group of people who shares your own DNA.Their database contains over three millions genotyped customers worldwide. This database will continue grow as more people use 23andme.

Large-scale genotyping and and genome sequencing, employed by 23andme allows customers to discover people worldwide whom they share a similar genetic make up with. (1)

If two people share an identical DNA sequence segment it is very probable that they share a contemporary common ancestor. (2)

If you chose to opt-in for the 23andme ‘DNA relative finder’ you can even connect with people who share the same DNA as you. This may allow you to shed light on your family history by discovering extended family anywhere in the world.

By obtaining a DNA report from 23andme you can gather data on both the similarities and differences in genetics between family members.

This means you can form a clearer understanding of affinities within your relatives. For example, why certain relations look alike whilst others to totally different. (3)

How it Works

23andme aim to simplify DNA testing. The home-based saliva collection kit is designed for tracing and learning all about your own ancestry.

In this section we will explore what DNA actually is and why it’s important. We will also look at how the 23andme DNA test kit works in greater detail.

DNA

DNA is the hereditary material in humans. It is a very long chain of molecules containing all the information required for the functions of a cell. (4)

An organism’s complete set of DNA is called a genome. In humans more than three billion DNA base pairs make up the entire genome. (5)

It is the sequence of these DNA bases which determines the who we are, how we function and what we are like. (6)

DNA is passed down from parents to child and the child will pass their genes onto their offspring and so on. This is how DNA lines continue through generations.

Human DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is around 99.5 percent identical in everybody. However there are small differences that make us individual. These differences are called variants.

Variants in our DNA can be associated with various traits, health conditions, and ancestry groups.  

By studying inherited variants in our DNA scientists can identify our genetic ancestry and trace our DNA back for hundreds of years. (7)

23andme aims to scientifically analyze your DNA in order to read the variants in your genome and allow you to discover your ancestry.

DNA Testing

23andme have the ability to extract DNA cells from your sample. They will analyze, and compile your genetic information.

The DNA is analyzed on what’s known as a genotyping chip. This chip can identify thousands of locations in your genome and this is what enables scientists to ascertain variants in your DNA structure.

Genotyping is a well-researched and reliable tool for analyzing DNA. It has been hailed as the most effective mechanism for detecting variants within DNA. (8)

This process works on the basis of comparing extracts of DNA sequences to a database of genotypes. From this further connections can be made and similarities between different DNA sequences can be identified. (9)

23andme analyse your genetic data. From this they can create personalized reports centered around scientific and medical research. Genotyping can reveal traits such as eye colour and freckles. (10)

Test Results.

All you need to receive your 23andme DNA test results is access to the internet.

Your DNA information allows 23andme to provide reports on your ancestry composition, haplogroups, neanderthal ancestry and DNA family.

Drawbacks

23andme have a large database of over three million. However you can only compare DNA reports and trace your inheritance with other people in the 23andme system. This limits your discovery of similar DNA families.

Furthermore, in order to connect with people who have similar DNA they must have also opted in for DNA relatives finder. Again, this means your findings could be restricted.

Test Directions

23andme break their DNA testing process down into three basic steps:

Order, spit, discover.

To begin the exploration of your DNA history you must order a 23andme saliva collection kit online. To do so you are required to provide some basic information about yourself such as date of birth, name and address.

Once you have registered you should receive your collection kit within three to five days. The kit comes with instructions but seems fairly simple to use.

You must spit into the tube provided according to the instructions, fill in the necessary personal details and mail it back to 23andme in a pre-paid package.

Summary

23andme offers a relatively simple and easy-to-use ancestry DNA testing kit at a somewhat affordable price.

By providing some basic administrative information and a test tube of saliva you can begin to explore your genetic family history.

Whether you want to explore the geographical origins of your ancestors or track down any unknown relatives, 23andme provides you with a great insight into your family tree.

However, the biggest limitations of 23andme lie within the available database. Although it’s expansive, the only pool of information you can compare your DNA reports to is that of data  held by 23andme.

Therefore, if you are thinking about delving into your family heritage on a casual basis 23andme could be an ideal place to start.

Attention 23andme readers: Click here for our #1 DNA Kit

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