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Best DNA testing kits for 2023

Getting a DNA test is a simple process and takes around 8 weeks max to get a reply..

You can order a kit online, which will be sent to you along with instructions. Depending on the test, you may be required to provide a saliva sample in a tube or use a swab to collect a cheek cell sample. You then mail the sample back to the testing lab and wait for your results.


AncestryDNA test


The AncestryDNA test costs $99 USD (March 2023).


AncestryDNA boasts a massive autosomal DNA database with over 21 million samples and biogeographical regions spanning over 1,500 global regions. However, the downside is that you cannot upload DNA test results from other companies to the AncestryDNA database.


AncestryDNA is the market leader for a good reason - it has tested millions of people increasing your chances of finding matches with relatives and expanding your family tree. The AncestryDNA test is user-friendly and offers excellent integration with family trees, including sophisticated algorithms that provide accurate relationship estimates.


LivingDNA


The price for the LivingDNA test is $99 USD + shipping.


LivingDNA has an autosomal DNA database of over 300,000 and allows users to upload DNA test results from other companies.

Matches are free, but there is a fee to access the biogeographical ancestry reports. However, Y-DNA and mtDNA reports are not included. LivingDNA provides biogeographical regions for 150 global regions, including 72 in Africa and 19 in Britain. LivingDNA offers Y-DNA and mtDNA deep ancestry reports, including migration and distribution maps.


The pros of LivingDNA include its detailed breakdown of British ancestry at the county level. However, there are no family trees on the LivingDNA website, and limited tools are available for analyzing results. The database is also small compared to other companies. Nevertheless, LivingDNA is likely to be of interest to people in the UK who prefer to keep their DNA data in Europe and want to find matches who have not tested elsewhere.


23andMe DNA


Cost vary - but ranges between $70 - $99 USD.

The database size is over 12.8 million, but you cannot upload DNA test results from other companies to the database. There are over 2,000 global regions represented in the biogeographical report, with the best representation for people with Asian ancestry. The Y-DNA and mtDNA deep ancestry reports include a Neanderthal ancestry report.


One of the pros of the 23andMe test is the interesting traits report, and the large database means that you are likely to find many matches. However, a majority of matches have not included a family tree, making it difficult to work out how people are connected to you. The test offers a wide range of well-written and attractively presented reports, including detailed Y-DNA and mtDNA reports for deep ancestry purposes, and it is the only company with authorisation from the FDA to offer health reports direct to the consumer.


MyHeritage DNA test


Cost is currently $39 USD (promotional cost for March 2023) + shipping


The database size for MyHeritage DNA is 5.8 million, and it allows you to upload DNA test results from other companies for free. However, there is a n additional fee to access matches' biogeographical ancestry reports and DNA analysis tools. MyHeritage DNA offers 42 global regions and 2114 sub-regional groups for biogeographical regions, but ancient/deep ancestry is not available.


One of the pros of MyHeritage DNA is that it provides good representation of non-English-speaking countries in the database, making it an ideal choice for those looking to make connections in these regions. It also offers useful tools for advanced users, such as Theories of Relativity, autoclusters, and a chromosome browser.


On the downside, MyHeritage DNA requires an ongoing subscription to access its full features. The free MyHeritage service has restricted tree-building and matching facilities. For enhanced features, such as the ability to search trees, smart matches, and instant discoveries, you need to purchase an enhanced family tree subscription.


How does DNA testing work?

DNA testing is a process of analyzing an individual's DNA to obtain information about their genetic makeup. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is the hereditary material found in the cells of all living organisms, including humans.

The process of DNA testing involves collecting a sample of an individual's DNA, usually through a saliva or cheek swab. The sample is then sent to a laboratory where it undergoes a series of tests to extract and analyze the DNA. The laboratory technicians isolate the DNA and examine specific regions of the DNA code that are known to be associated with certain traits or genetic markers.


The results of the DNA test can provide information about an individual's ancestry, predisposition to certain diseases or medical conditions, and other genetic characteristics. The accuracy of the results depends on the quality of the DNA sample, the number of markers tested, and the laboratory's testing methods.

DNA testing has become increasingly popular for genealogical and medical purposes. It has revolutionized the field of genetics and opened up new possibilities for understanding human biology and the history of our species.


Types of DNA tests that are commonly available

  1. Autosomal DNA test This is the most common type of DNA test and analyzes the DNA from both parents. It can provide information on your ancestry and can match you to other relatives who have taken the same test.

  2. Mitochondrial DNA test (mtDNA) This type of test focuses on the DNA found in the mitochondria, which is passed down from mother to child. It can provide information on your maternal ancestry.

  3. Y-chromosome DNA test (Y-DNA) This test analyzes the DNA found on the Y chromosome, which is only present in males. It can provide information on your paternal ancestry.

  4. X-chromosome DNA test (X-DNA) This test analyzes the DNA found on the X chromosome, which is present in both males and females. It can provide information on both maternal and paternal ancestry.

There are several DNA tests available, but only three are commonly used in genealogy research: the Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) test, the mitochondrial (mtDNA) test, and the autosomal (atDNA) test. Among these, the Y-DNA and autosomal tests are particularly relevant and useful for genealogy purposes.



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