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DNA Ancestry Tools
For years genealogists have been limited to written records as their principle means of research. Progress as a result of the development of the internet has allowed researchers easier and more convenient access to the records and other contacts invaluable to the research process. One of the latest methods gaining popularity among genealogists is DNA ancestry research. Relative Genetics, a genealogical company specializing in DNA ancestry testing, offers many services to aid researchers in the linking of their ancestors. They offer several product lines that cover various types of DNA ancestry testing.
Paternal Line or Y-chromosome (Ycs) testing is used to “establish the genetic profile (haplotype) of deceased ancestors along one's direct paternal line”; states the Relative Genetics website (www.relativegenetics.com). “The Ycs is passed largely unchanged from father to son. This Ycs inheritance pattern follows the passing of the surname common to many cultures; therefore, the Ycs is useful in discovering clues along one’s paternal line. It is currently the most popular form of DNA testing,” explains the author. The Relative Genetics website offers the ability to create, search, and join Ycs DNA projects which link genealogy researchers with common interests and goals in a forum where ancestral research findings and family information can be easily exchanged.
Another form of DNA ancestry testing is Maternal Line or mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Analysis. The mtDNA tests take advantage of a special form of DNA that is passed from a mother to all of her children. However, only the daughters will pass that same mtDNA to each of her children and only her female children will continue to pass it down. This pattern will continue from generation to generation with very little change in the DNA sequence. Relative Genetics offers mtDNA tests which analyze two regions of the mtDNA. These regions are known as hypervariable region 1 (HVR 1) and hypervariable region 2 (HVR 2).
The results of mtDNA tests or profiles are compared to the Cambridge Reference Standard (CRS), an internationally recognized standard. The comparison illustrates differences that are found between a profile and the CRS. This can be a valuable tool in DNA ancestry research as you compare your profile with other individuals who have already received their results.
Mitochondrial DNA is also used to trace one’s deep ancestral roots or ethnic heritage. Relative Genetics offers DNA ancestry products to test for Native American and African Ancestry heritage. It also provides Ancestral OriginsTM products which can yield insight into discoveries of one’s deep ancestral roots to specific world population groups.
Extended Family Testing is another tool that Relative Genetics offers for DNA ancestry research. This type of testing can help prove an extended family relationship such as a sibling, grand-parent, cousin, aunt or uncle. Extended Family Testing uses autosomal DNA in its analysis. The Relative Genetics website describes autosomal DNA as follows; “The autosomal DNA are the 22 pairs of non sex chromosomes found within the nucleus of the cell. You receive half of your autosomal DNA from your mother and the other half from your father.” Autosomal testing does not extend past the grandparents because of the difficulty inherent in this inheritance pattern. The purpose of extended autosomal DNA ancestry testing is to allow individuals to verify relationships that go beyond the paternal or maternal scope.
Relative Genetics provides many services to assist genealogists in achieving their research goals. Through the use of the Relative Genetics DNA ancestry tests, the researcher should find a suitable product or products that will add another layer of research to discover and solidify their family lines. As more and more DNA ancestry testing is performed and databases of results grow the value of DNA profiles as a means of genealogical research will gain significance.
About the Author:
Keith Pruhs is a Client Account Specialist for 10xMarketing. Go now to Relative Genetics to learn more about Genetic Genealogy.