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MyHeritage DNA review: the family history test

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MyHeritage DNA

MyHeritage DNA test is a simple saliva based test that promises to reveal information about ethnicity, family history, immigration patterns and help family members discover each other.

It uses a cheek swab method to collect a sample for testing and it promises within three to four weeks, results will be available online.

This review will explore MyHeritage DNA tests to see if it is really as accurate as it claims to be.

FAQ

What is MyHeritage DNA?

MyHeritage is a DNA test that can be done by mail, with results in up to four weeks. It uses a database of DNA from around the world to give accurate results split into over 40 possible regions from around the globe.

How does MyHeritage DNA work?

MyHeritage uses a cheek swab sent by mail to a laboratory for analysis. It employs technology to extract your DNA from the sample and assesses it using advanced computer algorithms.

Who should use MyHeritage DNA?

Anyone who is curious about their family history and genetic makeup can use MyHeritage DNA.

How much does MyHeritage DNA cost?

The DNA test with results is $69 per test.

Is MyHeritage DNA worth the money?

MyHeritage can give individuals accurate results from multiple regions around the world. It can give a lot of information for a low amount of money.

Is MyHeritage DNA safe?

Yes. There are no risk factors and since it uses a cheek swab, there is no need to provide a blood sample.

Where to buy MyHeritage DNA?

MyHeritage DNA tests are available on the MyHeritage website.

Does MyHeritage DNA really work?

Yes. MyHeritage can accurately map DNA results.

How long does it take to get results from MyHeritage DNA?

It takes between three to four weeks to get results from MyHeritage, which are available via email.

Why do people take DNA tests?

People take DNA tests to find out more information about themselves. They also take them to answer questions about their family tree, as well as find distant relatives.

Can I buy MyHeritage DNA as a gift?

Yes, MyHeritage is available to purchase as a gift.

Are there any MyHeritage DNA alternatives?

There are numerous other DNA test options available, such as Ancestrydna and 23andMe. Each one provides different information. MyHeritage DNA uses its extensive database to provide up to date immigration information.

Benefits

Humans have always been curious about where we come from. We want to know exactly how we got to where we are today and we also find meaning in our family history.

DNA sequencing has been used in scientific research to map human migration patterns and learn about human origins. It has been valuable in learning about history and relationships. (1)

With the study of DNA, it is possible to see into the lives of people throughout human history. (2)

With the technology of DNA tests, we can now research our paths through history in new ways. Now we can simply submit a DNA sample to a lab and get results that tell us a variety of information.

MyHeritage DNA testing provides DNA test results quickly. It promises to give information on ethnicity, support to create a comprehensive family tree and connect you to other possible members of your family who also might have taken a DNA test.

Ethnicity Mapping

MyHeritage DNA tests provide ethnicity results from 42 separate regions in the world. It tells you an accurate estimate of what percentage of DNA comes from each region.

Personal identity and ethnicity are closely tied together for many people. Finding out where you come from can be exciting, therefore accuracy is crucial. (3)

This can give a fascinating picture of family immigration patterns and answer questions that might be present about where your direct relations come from.

Family Connections

MyHeritage DNA offers an option to upload your DNA test results onto their database to establish if there are any matches with other users.

This feature checks DNA matches with other similar databases, which means there is more information and possible family connections available.

Being able to search for other family members using a DNA test can also provide valuable connections to people who are adopted or have been separated from their families.

People who have been estranged from their immediate families and are seeking extended family members can also benefit from using a DNA test. It can offer community and connection to people who may otherwise feel lonely.

How it Works

DNA

Almost every cell in the human body contains DNA. This is basically a hereditary acid unique to each person. DNA contains all the genetic information about a human being, such as who their parents were, the color of their eyes, and even health information. (4)

DNA also contains information about human ancestry and it can be tested to explore family history.

By testing a DNA sample and comparing it to other samples, scientists can now discover where that person’s family originated in the world.

Genes

Genes are made up of DNA and they act as instruction manuals for the body. Each person inherits them from both their mother and their father and when combined it makes up their individual genetic code. (5)

Analyzing DNA and genetic codes can give scientists the ability to match a person with family members. Looking at this biological data can provide information about a person’s ethnicity as well as tag them to distant family members. (6)

Types of DNA and Genetic Tests

There are a variety of tests available to analyze genetic information. These include:

Y-chromosome testing, which looks at genetic information passed down through male family members. It is excellent for establishing paternity, but does not work for females. (7)

Mitochondrial testing, which looks at genetic information inside the mitochondria. This test can be completed on both males or females, because the information is passed down through the mother. (8)

Single nucleotide polymorphism testing, which is the most reliable test for ethnicity. This test looks for differences in hereditary genetic information and then compares it to others who have also taken the test. (9)

The accuracy of single nucleotide polymorphism testing is reliant on a database of genetic information. (10)

MyHeritage DNA Testing

MyHeritage created their DNA testing method by building a database of ethnic groups from around the world using “founder population” screenings.

It created a profile for each ethnic region by testing people who had lived in the corresponding parts of the world for generations. This involved testing over 5,000 participants to build a unique view of the DNA from each part of the world.

Using a statistical assessments called principal component analysis, anyone with unusual DNA patterns for each area were eliminated and information was clustered to give a clear picture of each region.

After analysis, 42 unique areas were identified around the globe. When you send a DNA sample to be tested, this is the basis for identifying your genetic history.

MyHeritage also uses something called the “illumina omniexpress 24 chip”, which uses hundreds of thousands of probes to collect and study the most genetic variation. Their lab has the highest accreditation available to give the most accurate results possible.

Test Results

Once a saliva sample is submitted to the MyHeritage DNA lab, the unique DNA and genetic information is analyzed and compared to their dedicated database to see where in the world it matches.

After analysis, MyHeritage DNA sends an email inviting the user to view their test results.

Results are shown in a pie chart with percentages of ethnic information. For example, it may show that someone is fifty-five percent Italian and thirty percent Chinese.

MyHeritage offers 42 different regions around the world for ethnic matching, which makes it more accurate with its findings.

Drawbacks

MyHeritage DNA tests focus on ethnicity makeup and the ability to connect with other family members on their family tree database. It does not offer the ability to get any medical information or possible genetic risk factors as part of its testing.

Another drawback is that ethnicity itself is unstable. MyHeritage does its best to accurately match their genetic information to a large database.

However, the actual database itself is built on samples of DNA from many people in each region. This means there may be inaccuracies because it is dependent upon the people that live in each place, some of which may not have originated from the area. (11)

Test Directions

MyHeritage DNA tests are very simple to use. Order the kit online, and when it arrives, take a cheek swab with the tools included in the kit. Once swab has been taken, send the kit back to MyHeritage.

In three to four weeks, MyHeritage will send an email notifying you results are available online. Just log in to see your individual report.

If you want to see if you have any family connections available you can also choose to upload it to the family tree database.

Summary

MyHeritage DNA tests promise to accurately map a person’s DNA using scientific analysis and give information about ethnicity and family heritage.

It uses a database of genetic information from thousands of people around the globe and can provide percentages from a number of regions.

MyHeritage also provides the ability to upload personal information into a family tree tool to search for other people who might be related to you. This can help provide answers to many potential ancestral questions.

Based on the science behind MyHeritage DNA, it can certainly provide the services it promises. Other plus points include: fast results, it’s user friendly, reliable and it’s also one of the most affordable DNA tests available.

Attention My Heritage DNA readers: Click here for our #1 DNA Kit

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