Have you ever wondered where your ancestors hail from? DNA kits are able to help you find that out. The first commercially available “at-home” kit came from Ancestry.com. With a click of the mouse, you are able to find family from the past. You are able to fill out your own family tree. If you get any names with green leaves on them, you are able to open up more information. What if you wanted to take it further? With the help of DNA testing, you are able to find out where you come from. Not to mention, you’re able to find ancestors with the help of your DNA kit. As the years passed, new DNA kits arrived on the scene.
Ancestry DNA and 23andme are two of the more popular ones. By ordering them through the mail, you receive your very own DNA kits. Whether by using a swab, or spitting into a tube, the kits are as easy as one, two, three.
What are DNA Kits?
Each of us is made up of DNA. Every part of our bodies holds a complete set of what we are made of. Skin, heart, blood and bones, even our cells tell us who we are.
So what makes DNA kits so special?
DNA kits help us figure out our past and where our heritage began. They use genetic marker sequences within our DNA to find results. Some DNA kits, or DNA testing, can even help us find out if our family have certain disease markers. 23andme is one of those DNA kits that can do that. There are a lot of uses for DNA kits besides figuring out the past.
How does DNA testing work
Most DNA testing looks for genetic markers that are similar between two people, or samples. Since all of the cells in our bodies are exactly the same, samples can be taken from anywhere. Hair, skin, saliva and other bodily fluids just to name a few. Even forensic scientists use DNA testing or DNA kits while working. The most common is using evidence from under the fingernails or a blood sample.
How does DNA testing work, exactly?
First, your DNA will be isolated and copies are made. Millions of copies using a method called PCR, or polymerase chain reaction. It’s from PCR that scientists can find your specific code and start DNA testing. The “fingerprints” found within these codes are compared for matches.
Today, there are some popular DNA kits that you can order online. 23andme and Ancestry DNA have been found in several ads on Facebook. They can also be seen in television commercials. Both kits use saliva for DNA testing. Just order, spit and send back. Simple, right?
Ancestry and Ancestry DNA
Ancestry has been one of the most popular sites for finding out one’s heritage. You can also plan out your family tree on the site. To obtain your family tree, just add in the family members you already know. Ancestry then searches those names within their record collections. Sometimes names will come back with a leaf on them.
What now? Click on the leaf, of course! New names could be revealed from this information. The more family members you add to your tree, the more hints you could get. It is fun to watch your heritage being revealed to you. Here’s a quick video of how one Ancestry user was able to trace her family line.
Don’t have time to enter all that information? Order an Ancestry DNA kit. It’s easy to order and use.
How does Ancestry DNA work
Ancestry DNA is easy to use. Upon receiving your DNA testing kit, you’ll open it up. Inside the box, you will have a full set of instructions on how to use the kit. You also get a saliva collection tube and a prepaid return mailing package. This ensures that you have no additional costs. After returning the DNA testing kit in the mail, your sample will be tested in a lab.
Ancestry DNA Costs
Yes, it is true these are not free services. Now that you’ve explored the website, you’re ready to order your very own kit. Just click on the ORDER NOW button. From there you will fill out your order form. It costs $99 plus shipping and handling for one kit. You are able to send DNA kits to other family members as well. There is an option button for that on the order form.
Will you be trying Ancestry DNA today?
Results from your Ancestry DNA kit
When will I get my results? That question is the most asked one. According to the Ancestry DNA website, your sample will be processed within six to eight weeks. After that, you will receive an email confirmation and your test results. One important note of advice; make sure to activate your DNA kits before sending them in. This ensures they will be processed correctly.
23andme DNA Kits
23andme is an up and coming DNA testing kit. When you pop on their website you will find two different DNA kits. The first one is their ancestry service. After sending in the sample for this kit, you will get a global ancestry breakdown. You’re able to map out your ancestry, possibly seeing how far back the generations go. With these DNA kits, you’re able to find the origins of your maternal and/or paternal ancestors.
Their second DNA testing kit is the recommended health +ancestry service. Besides finding your ancestry line, you can get a comprehensive view of your genetics. You’ll receive more than 75 reports online about your traits, health, and ancestry.
Is 23andme right for you?
How 23andme works and what it costs
Like Ancestry DNA, 23andme’s basic ancestry service costs $99. The combined health +ancestry service costs $199. The site recommends this package over their basic service. Possibly because you get more results about yourself and you didn’t know your family had. The kit should arrive within three to five days after ordering. Make sure to activate your kit once received.
Again, you receive a box with full instructions of how to use. No blood or needles required. A saliva tube sits in your box, as well as a return mailing package. In six to eight weeks you will get an email confirmation to let you know your results are ready. Just log into your account and discover what your DNA says about you.
How Private are DNA Kits — Privacy Concerns
After ordering a DNA testing kit, one often wonders how private the information is. Privacy concerns are good to have. Kate Black, Privacy Officer & Corporate Counsel says, “Your privacy and the security of your information is 23andMe’s highest priority. Our goal is to be transparent about our policies and practices related to data use. We want to ensure your information is protected by physical, technical and administrative security measures.”
They do collect information such as name, address and credit card information upon order. However, they claim they do not sell, lease or rent personal information to third-parties.
According to their website:
23andMe uses a range of physical, technical, and administrative measures to safeguard your Personal Information, in accordance with current technological and industry standards. In particular, all connections to and from our website are encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.
Ancestry DNA claims to do the same thing. They also allow you to download your DNA testing results, as well have them delete the results from their database. As well, they do not share personal information with third-party advocates. For more information visit both sites for more in-depth privacy statements.
Find Out Who You Are Today
Both 23andme and Ancestry DNA are great ways to find out who you are. Each use saliva for their test results. They’re very simple to use and both protect your personal information from third-parties. You can order one just for you, or even order them for family members. Visit their sites to find which one is best for you. Not sure which to choose, here’s a video giving a full comparison of both DNA kits. Which one are you going to choose?