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libspero

Dna Ancestry Analysis

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Inspired by comments in another thread and given the topical nature of immigration at the moment I thought it might be interesting to explore this.

Has anyone tested their DNA and know their ancestry? Has anyone tested it twice with separate companies and had different results?

There seems to be some debate about how accurate these tests are, with several academics now criticising them.

Positive article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2931700/The-rise-rise-family-history-DNA-tests-AncestryDNA-s-kit-latest-launch-UK-relatives-SECONDS.html

Negative article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9912822/DNA-ancestry-tests-branded-meaningless.html

I know nothing about this field.. should a HPCer part with their hard earned cash, or is it all a con?

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Inspired by comments in another thread and given the topical nature of immigration at the moment I thought it might be interesting to explore this.

Has anyone tested their DNA and know their ancestry? Has anyone tested it twice with separate companies and had different results?

There seems to be some debate about how accurate these tests are, with several academics now criticising them.

Positive article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2931700/The-rise-rise-family-history-DNA-tests-AncestryDNA-s-kit-latest-launch-UK-relatives-SECONDS.html

Negative article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9912822/DNA-ancestry-tests-branded-meaningless.html

I know nothing about this field.. should a HPCer part with their hard earned cash, or is it all a con?

The latter rather than the former. Having said that, I did sequence my own mtDNA about a 15 years ago, but simply because I needed a 'control', and sequencing another person's would have been a legal minefield. I would never sequence my mothers !

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I asked the same question here a while back - then had a google - answer was a fairly definite - not worth the money.

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We all have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, etc.

By the time we go back a few generations, some of the 65,536 people in a particular generation are likely to be duplicates.

Go back further and we all have ancestors from far and wide.

The DNA tests looking at the Y-chromosome (purely male line) and mitochondrial DNA (purely female line) only tell you about a couple of lines of ancestry, out of thousands. As such they are not particularly meaningful for finding out 'where you came from'.

In millenia to come, everyone will trace their ancestry to CCC (unless he takes precautions).

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I asked the same question here a while back - then had a google - answer was a fairly definite - not worth the money.

The problem seems to be that British genes are very homogeneous, and nearly anyone who is at least 3 or 4 generations British is almost genetically identical.

There's quite a good youtube video here:

I guess the only thing you might find out is that you, unexpectedly, have a large amount of DNA from an unlikely source, maybe Latin, African, Asian etc.

The problem still seems to be though, if it was long enough ago, most of it will still be masked/diluted by British interbreeding since then.

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Guest eight

The problem seems to be that British genes are very homogeneous, and nearly anyone who is at least 3 or 4 generations British is almost genetically identical.

Well would you adam'n'eve it.

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I can't say I can be sure how accurate ours were, but it was the org headed up by the bloke who wrote The Seven Daughters of Eve, and he had pretty strong academic credentials.

The tests didn't claim to give anything but what they know about your direct maternal or paternal lines, i.e in a direct line, mother to her mother, father to his father. way back. Obviously there will be a lot of other genes thrown in.*

They gave quite a bit of info about the various lines, geographical origins (as far as was known then). There were also maps of global human migration as far as was known, etc.

It wasn't peanuts, but we found it interesting and I photocopied all the info and passed it to everyone in the family who shares the same direct lines.

*One of our daughters is blonde and fair, while the other has the blue eyes but an almost Mediterranean olivey skin, not shared by anyone else in the family. Since we have roots in coastal areas of both East Anglia and East Devon, I wonder there was an Armada sailor somewhere in the mix.

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I'd be worried about finding out I was switched at birth. I have blue eyes, both parents brown eyes. Then again, their parents/my grandparents all have/had green/grey eyes. No idea what all this means...i believe eye colour can skip a generation.

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I'd be worried about finding out I was switched at birth. I have blue eyes, both parents brown eyes. Then again, their parents/my grandparents all have/had green/grey eyes. No idea what all this means...i believe eye colour can skip a generation.

If I remember my biology correctly, the blue eyed gene is recessive, but it can be carried by brown eyed people. However if two blue eyed genes meet, they become dominant. Thus IIRC it is possible for brown eyed parents to have a blue eyed child, but not possible for two blue eyed parents to have a brown eyed child. (I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. )

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If I remember my biology correctly, the blue eyed gene is recessive, but it can be carried by brown eyed people. However if two blue eyed genes meet, they become dominant. Thus IIRC it is possible for brown eyed parents to have a blue eyed child, but not possible for two blue eyed parents to have a brown eyed child. (I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. )

I recall that when I was taught this in school, it was taught by someone who clearly didn't understand it properly and thus we were told that two brown eyed parents would not have a blue eyed child. Consequently I was left to silently question which wasn't my real parent...

If this happened today, no doubt I would be able to sue the school for my mental anguish!

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I have d

I recall that when I was taught this in school, it was taught by someone who clearly didn't understand it properly and thus we were told that two brown eyed parents would not have a blue eyed child. Consequently I was left to silently question which wasn't my real parent...

If this happened today, no doubt I would be able to sue the school for my mental anguish!

I too have had doubts.

But my Dad was definitely my Dad, he was present at my birth.

Not so sure about my Mum, though....

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I have d

I too have had doubts.

But my Dad was definitely my Dad, he was present at my birth.

Not so sure about my Mum, though....

Are you a seahorse?

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I had my DNA tested with 23andme. My mum died and I inherited some money, so $99 didn't seem much.

My main motivation was one of my cousins had a DNA test (although I got the impression it was just mtDNA and y chromosone) and because of some bizarre reasoning and perhaps interesting wishful thinking, my cousins decided we must be Jewish. My brother and one of my sisters were apparently delighted. It was surprising, baffling and weird, and at times I laughed in their faces and other times I thought this was a really sad indication of how being English had gone from something to be proud of, to be something many people cannot wait not to be.

I mentioned this on a forum where people often discuss DNA and someone mentioned the hilarious Seinfeld episode where Jerry's dentist converts to Judaism - it really was a bit like that :D

I wasn't taken in by it. I have a mild interest in these things, and their 'logic' didn't make a very convincing argument and also seemed to me to lack knowledge of prehistoric population movements - i.e. neolithic farmers moving to Europe from the Middle East 10,000 plus years ago, plus other interesting stuff like the origins of indo-european languages, mummies of Taklamakhan desert, where did the Canary Islanders come from if they didn't know anything about sailing etc.

So I had the test done. 23andme isn't just mtDNA and Ydna, they do something called autosomal testing which test the parts of your DNA which police and so on use to get a profile of criminals.

I think the reason why it gets criticized is more about the arbitrary-ish groups you get assigned to. like British/Irish or French/German - where do you draw a border or draw a line and say this lot are this and that lot are that? 23andme have a British/Irish group but I think Ancestry.com have seperate British and Irish groups. this doesn't mean they are making it up, but I suppose it depends how far you want to drill down. I saw some really interesting recent analysis that showed the English as being mostly homogenous and distinct from the Welsh, Scots, Cornish, Cumbrians etc.

Almost all of the ancestors that I know of (my dad did a lot of family tree stuff and my mum's side was done by a cousin ) is almost entirely Eastern seaboard English, and perhaps not surprisingly, 23andme identified a very hefty dose (overall more than British/Irish) that they identified as Scandanavian French/German and general North West European. I would say from that that my ethnicity could be more accurately described as North Sea rather than English or British, but that would be a bit DNAspergery :D

I thought it was really interesting and worth the relatively small amount of cash, if nothing else, just to prove my siblings and cousins were talking our of their ar5es.

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The other thing our tests came up with was vague groupings, mostly Celtic or Viking or whatever. We were both mostly Celtic, which was a mite disappointing since I had hoped for a bit of Viking.

On the Newcastle Metro once we saw a bloke who I swear was Erik Bloodaxe to the life. Hefty, very blue eyes, longish red-gold hair and beard, very weatherbeaten. All he lacked was the horned helmet, though I gather they now say those are were an invention of the Victorians. Mind you I think a lot of Geordies must have Viking genes - so hardy, the way they go out in the depths of winter clad in sod all - got to be inherited from Eriks who battled the North Sea in longships.

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Well you are definitely not Scottish.

Before anyone leaps to criticise me, I am Scottish, with a sense of humour.

I'll have a pint of bitter then. I'm descended from a long line of Yorkshire folk, like the Scots, in a way, but stripped of the generosity. :(

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Well you are definitely not Scottish.

Before anyone leaps to criticise me, I am Scottish, with a sense of humour.

Hahaha.

I suppose I should also mention that my dad was a Fred Housego type - though he worked on the buses he was a keen history buff. He was a one time volunteer on local archaeology dig not far from the council estate I was born on. Holidays always had a very large dose of visits to site of historical interest. He liked visiting churches on a Sunday, not to pray or anything religious, but he could just look at them and say "thats a Norman Tower, but the rest of it is Saxon or Medieval". Probably sounds very dull, but when I was a kid he'd take us up to the top of Iron age forts or similar places and talk about how the Romans stormed them and how the Ancient Britons defended them, and it was very Lord of the Ringsy and when your about 8 or 10 years old it was great and I'd spend the rest of the afternoon running up and ownd the ditches pretending to be a Roman. When they got older their favourite program was Time Team.

The point is, I suppose the DNA testing would be more interesting to me than for many people.

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Hahaha.

I suppose I should also mention that my dad was a Fred Housego type - though he worked on the buses he was a keen history buff. He was a one time volunteer on local archaeology dig not far from the council estate I was born on. Holidays always had a very large dose of visits to site of historical interest. He liked visiting churches on a Sunday, not to pray or anything religious, but he could just look at them and say "thats a Norman Tower, but the rest of it is Saxon or Medieval".

The point is, I suppose the DNA testing would be more interesting to me than for many people.

I hated history at school, but when you see it, and realise you are today's part of it, then it is fascinating. BTW Mr Renting might post his DNA on a kitchen towel. I don't answer the door any more. :unsure:

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The other thing our tests came up with was vague groupings, mostly Celtic or Viking or whatever. We were both mostly Celtic, which was a mite disappointing since I had hoped for a bit of Viking.

Is that the Haplogroup? I think it's the Haplogroup that specifies what part of the World your ancient ancestors came from.

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The other thing our tests came up with was vague groupings, mostly Celtic or Viking or whatever. We were both mostly Celtic, which was a mite disappointing since I had hoped for a bit of Viking.

On the Newcastle Metro once we saw a bloke who I swear was Erik Bloodaxe to the life. Hefty, very blue eyes, longish red-gold hair and beard, very weatherbeaten. All he lacked was the horned helmet, though I gather they now say those are were an invention of the Victorians. Mind you I think a lot of Geordies must have Viking genes - so hardy, the way they go out in the depths of winter clad in sod all - got to be inherited from Eriks who battled the North Sea in longships.

I would be very suspicious of people applying words like Celtic to DNA groupings since if a single Celtic identity existed at all (which is doubtful) it was as a linguistic not a racial grouping. Might be worth catching the current exhibition of Celtic Art at the British Museum, though, since it is said to be fabulous

http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/exhibitions/9642702/the-british-museums-celtic-masterpieces-arent-celtic-but-they-are-fabulous/

To be honest outside Africa the DNA of most of humanity is very, very similar. Those Syrian migrants are genetically almost identical to the Europeans they seek to live among (some of the kids among the refugees even have fairish hair as you may have noticed from some of the TV coverage). The big differences are cultural, linguist and religious. That said these latter distinctions also divide Europeans fundamentally from each other as they do from outsiders. The EU may think Europeans have a common heritage but English is closer to Kurdish, Persian, Urdu, Pashto and Hindi than it is to the Hungarian or Finnish languages. Equally, the people's of Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia despite their blood history of civil strife are almost identical in terms of race and language but are divided by their religious culture right down to the script they use for writing.

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I had my DNA tested with 23andme.

Same here, I was more interested in the health results than the ancestry element of it though. Not too bothered about accuracy, I was just interested in the technique behind it and saw it as a mild amusement.

If anyone is interested I'm 99.9 European (75.3% Brit/Irish, 3.9% Scandinavian, 2.8% French/German, 0.1% Finnish, 16% 'broadly Northern European (WTF?!)), and a tiny bit Southern and Eastern European and 0.1% sub-Saharan African and 0.1% 'unassigned' (I assume that means alien).

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If anyone is interested I'm 99.9 European (75.3% Brit/Irish, 3.9% Scandinavian, 2.8% French/German, 0.1% Finnish, 16% 'broadly Northern European (WTF?!)), and a tiny bit Southern and Eastern European and 0.1% sub-Saharan African and 0.1% 'unassigned' (I assume that means alien).

I'd only worry if that last 0.1% is your "manhood" gene..

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Same here, I was more interested in the health results than the ancestry element of it though. Not too bothered about accuracy, I was just interested in the technique behind it and saw it as a mild amusement.

If anyone is interested I'm 99.9 European (75.3% Brit/Irish, 3.9% Scandinavian, 2.8% French/German, 0.1% Finnish, 16% 'broadly Northern European (WTF?!)), and a tiny bit Southern and Eastern European and 0.1% sub-Saharan African and 0.1% 'unassigned' (I assume that means alien).

Is that the speculative view?

I got 0.01% East Asian which I just assumed was noise.

I'm on a 23andme facebook group, which seems to be mostly made up of Americans. One of the interesting things (well, to me anyway) is that every now and again an American will post their results and they will be significantly more British/Irish than I am.

Often their recent ancestors will be from from Newfoundland or somewhere similar and they were entirely entirely of Scottish origin dating back 200 years or something like that. But I can recall one New Englander, some of whose ancestors went back to the sort of Mayflower era, and she was much more British/Irish than me.

That was a bit of a surprise, that so many Americans have retained a fairly exclusive ethnicity over so much time.

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