Many people across the globe have been affected by lockdowns due to the pandemic, so reaching out to family members might seem like a difficult option. But through the use of DNA testing, you can receive many benefits, such as locating long-lost family members you might not have known existed. I have used many sites to gain an accurate ethnic profile, to piece together family trees, and receive health information that could be useful in life.
DNA testing involves using an easy, at-home testing kit provided by sites such as 23&Me, Ancestry, My Heritage, and more. After you provide a saliva sample and mail it to the company, they compare your cells to others who have used the testing site before you. With this, they can pinpoint the countries and even towns where your ancestors lived. Some sites even give a complete background about each country’s culture, allowing the user to discover where their genetic roots are.
During the holiday seasons, there are also sales among DNA testing, so buying a few kits for your family and friends can be cheaper that way. It’s not just around Thanksgiving or Christmas that kits can be sold cheaper, but Easter and springtime can hold sales, too.
Almost all ancestry sites can give someone a direct view into other family members that have uploaded their own DNA in their database, connecting cousins and even siblings back to each other. This helps complete the family picture, offering new friendships and including others who would otherwise be unknown.
Some DNA sites can even give insight into medical information. 23&Me, most notably, can test for patterns in sleep cycles, organ function, biological traits, and much more. They can also test to see if one could become a carrier of diabetes to even Celiac disease. This information should not replace the need for in-person physical tests, but can lead someone in the right direction regarding their health. Adding on, 23&Me actively engages its users in health surveys, which can more accurately log their lifestyle. Ancestry, on the other hand, dives deeper into family trees than health insight.
It is good to keep in mind that with any website, there can be cyber security issues, such as your personal information being hacked and leaked. Be sure to look at each website’s privacy policies before using their test kits. For example, 23&Me released a statement saying, “23&Me will not sell, lease or rent your individual-level information to a third party for research purposes without your explicit consent.”
Because each site has different strengths, I would suggest researching which one would work best for you or using more than one. You would be able to compare your ethnicity estimates, connect with new relatives and map out a healthy life for yourself. It has held a great benefit to me, as it is an intriguing hobby to have and bond with family members over.