The process of DNA testing can prove genealogical ancestry. DNA testing identifies one person from another.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is hereditary and is in every cell of the body. It is the material that codes every cell in a living organism’s body. It is made up of four chemical bases called; Thymine, cytosine, Guanine and Adenine. The DNA in the human body consists of over 3 billion bases which not only build but maintain an organism (Genetic Tools, 2015). DNA testing is used in many areas of science. It is used in determining family relations; brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents, also genetic testing is applied in forensic research to identify suspects and victims. Although these tests are not meant for medical use and do not inform you about specific genetic disorders or diseases (Guest Blogger, 2014).
When being used to determine family relations paternity tests are commonly relied upon to conclude whether a male may be the father to a certain child. DNA tests are also accessed to determine brothers and sisters as well as aunts, uncles, grandmothers or grandfathers. As family relations all have similar DNA characteristics due to being hereditary it is fairly simple to investigate whether you are related or otherwise. Genealogical ancestors can be determined by DNA testing. Genealogical ancestry is the evolutionary, genetic or ethnic descent of an organism (Collins English Dictionary, 2012). Genealogical testing can be used to determine information about genealogy or personal ancestry by comparing your DNA to others from the same linage or to different ethnic groups (Guest Blogger, 2014).
All is needed is a cheek swab as the DNA in your saliva and cheek tissue is the same as the DNA found throughout your whole body. Certain patterns of genetic variation are often shared amongst people of particular backgrounds. There are three types of testing to find genetic variations and ancestry. Including Y chromosome testing, Mitochondrial DNA testing and single nucleotide polymorphism testing. Y chromosome testing is often used to investigate whether two families with the same surname is related.
It explores the Y chromosomes passed from father to son and to explore the ancestry in the direct male line. Although it can only be conducted with the males as females do not have the Y chromosome. It is often used as the chromosome is passed on in the same pattern as family names in most cultures. Mitochondrial DNA testing pinpoints certain genetic variations in mitochondrial DNA. DNA is contained in chromosomes with in the cell nucleus. Mitochondria a cell structure also contain DNA. Female and male both contain Mitochondrial DNA unlike with the Y chromosome that is only contained in the male.
The mitochondrial DNA is passed down from their mothers, it provides information about the female ancestral line. This method of testing for genealogy is beneficial as it preserves information about the female ancestral line that may have been lost from written records due to the commonality of surnames being passed down. Single nucleotide polymorphism testing evaluates large numbers of variations across a person’s entire genome. The variations it evaluates are the single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs. The results provide an estimate of a person’s ethnic background by comparing your genome to others who have completed this test. It gives a broader representation of your ethnic background compared to Y chromosome and mitochondrial testing, which only recognise a single ancestral line. The patterns of SNPs may indicate the approximate percentage of a person’s ethnic ancestry (U.
S National Library of Medicine, 2018). Genetic ancestry testing has a number of limitations though and may disappoint an individual to the clarity and the approximation of results. It cannot give results for more than immediate family. The amount of DNA an individual inherits that is passed through family is so mixed that all individuals share common ancestors. Genetics expert, Steve Jones says, “As a result, almost every individual is a descendant of Viking hordes, Roman legions, African migrants, Indian Brahmins, or anyone else they fancy.
” (Collins, 2013). Meaning that everyone’s DNA is so mixed that eventually all ancestry intertwines with one other creating a group of common ancestors. Also, because most human populations have migrated many times throughout their history and mixed with nearby groups, ethnicity estimates based on genetic testing may differ from an individual’s expectations (U.S National Library of Medicine, 2018). With all the methods available to us today it is clear that we are able to find close genealogical ancestors. The capability to find genealogical ancestors further out than immediate family may soon be available to us. The process of DNA testing can prove genealogical ancestry.
With the use of DNA testing we are already able to use paternity and maternity tests to find relatives and DNA forensic testing to uncover criminals and victims. With the technology available today it is clear that we can use DNA testing to find our genealogical ancestors and uncover our ethnic background.