Everything You Need to Know about DNA Kits
The DNA test kit has become one of the most sought after products on the market for the past couple of years; before that, people who wanted a DNA test had to go to a lab, have their blood is drawn or a sample of their saliva collected, and then they would anxiously have to wait for months to get the results. All that changed thanks to scientific breakthroughs that helped create an at-home ancestry DNA kit. Nowadays, you can purchase a kit for less than $100 and get accurate information about your ancestry. So, if you are curious about your biological past, choose one of the following products that are some of the best DNA test kits around.
Types of DNA Test Kits
As of today, there are three main types of DNA test kits, each of them providing different information. We won't specify the biological and chemical operation of each DNA kit, but you do need to know the types of kits and the results they provide. With the info below, you will be able to choose the best DNA test kit for you and the results you want to get.
Autosomal DNA Tests
An Autosomal DNA Test checks how closely related two people are. This type of DNA testing kit is useful for every person who wants to find family members. If family members you don’t know are also examining their DNA with an Autosomal DNA Test, you can find them. an Autosomal DNA Test is also used to research ancestry lines, and companies that manufacture such kits usually divide the world into 20-25 regions. When you perform the test, you will be able to find out which parts of the world DNA comes from, and where your ancestors once lived. Thanks to the results from Autosomal DNA Tests, you will be able to research your roots, and maybe even find distant relatives in different parts of the world.
Mitochondrial DNA Testing
mtDNA tests check maternal DNA lines, and they are very accurate. With mtDNA DNA testing kits, you will be able to check your ancestry on your mother's side, but only female relatives (grandmother, great-grandmother, and so on). An mtDNA kit will reveal your relation to a haplogroup – a group of people who have one common ancestor. That way, you will be able to find out where your maternal DNA originated from, and also find distant relatives. mtDNA can stay the same for up to 50 generations, so you can find long-long distant relatives, and find your maternal origins.
The 23rd human chromosome has an X version and a Y version. The Y chromosome can only come from males, so a Y-DNA test checks paternal ancestry. People with the same surname often use this type of DNA testing kit to determine how closely related they are, or if they are related at all. The test also reveals the haplogroup a person is related to
The STR test produces a summary of your haplotype. This can be compared to someone else’s results to determine how far back your most recent common ancestor lived.
An STR test is often used to determine how closely two people with the same surname are related, if at all.
The SNP test is more detailed, and among other things assigns you to a haplogroup, meaning who are the close and distant relatives of the person getting tested.
Best DNA Test Kits
Now that you know a little more about what an ancestry DNA kit can tell you, you can choose the best DNA test kit for you based on what you want to find out. To find more about your ancestry, you will need to send a saliva sample to the companies who perform DNA testing, and you will get your answers between several weeks to two months:
The best DNA test kit is FamilyTreeDNA; it is the only kit that performs the three types of tests we mentioned here, so you will be able to find close and distant relatives on your mother's side and on your father's side. One other great feature of FamilyTreeDNA is that it allows you to upload your DNA data even if you used DNA testing kits of other companies. To help you find your relatives, FamilyTreeDNA, like other DNA testing services, allows you to compare your results to other people's DNA profiles.
The service stores the results for at least 25 years, so you will be able to continue searching your relatives over several years. So, as more genetic profiles are added to the FamilyTreeDNA bank, you can check who is related to you even if you don’t have any matches now. If you have genetic matches, FamilyTreeDNA allows you to send emails to people who share your DNA, so you can get in touch with family members you didn't even know existed.
AncestryDNA has the most extensive DNA database with more than 6 million genetic profiles. The community on AncestryDNA is very strong and active, so you will be able to get in touch with people who share your DNA. People who have DNA matches can contact one another via email, upload their profile to an online family tree, and message each other on anonymous message boards. The service now costs $20 to $45 per month, and your results will be stored indefinitely. The one major drawback of AncestryDNA is that they no longer offer an mtDNA and Y-DNA testing, so the DNA matching searches are limited.
MyHeritage DNA has the largest global customer database that covers 42 ethnic regions, so you will be able to find relatives in countries other than the U.S. Like AncestryDNA, MyHeritage DNA allows users to link their DNA test results with online family trees, and contact relatives for free.
A modern DNA test kit lets you find people who are genetically related to you. So, if you want to find people who share your DNA and are technically conceded your family, you can use one of the excellent DNA testing services listed here.