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The Monday Morning DNA Testing Company Review – AncestryByDNA

migrationmap_big.jpgAncestryByDNA is a popular genetic test developed by DNAPrint Genomics, Inc. The company offers a variety of genetic testing, including Y-chromosome and mtDNA ancestry. They are most well-known, however, for their two admixture tests. Admixture tests examine SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, in the 22 autosomal chromosomes in each of our cells. Although every human’s DNA is 99.9% identical, the 0.1% differences make each one of us unique. Researchers have noticed that people in a particular region often have a mutation in common, one that people in most or all other regions of the world do not have. These usually harmless mutations, called SNPs, are believed to have bio-geographic properties – people endogenous to certain regions of the world have different versions of the SNPs. A person who submits his DNA for analysis could have SNPs which reveal genetic contributions from a wide variety of regions.

Admixture tests have many caveats. For instance, inheritance of autosomal DNA is completely random and no test can accurately predict your entire heritage. With every generation an ancestor’s DNA contribution can be passed down in its entirety, in part, or not at all. As well, many scientists are still debating whether or not SNPs have the bio-geographic properties that make admixture tests possible. What if the SNP that is supposedly unique to Native Americans has also developed in a large but undetected European population? The test would misconstrue that SNP as being Native American rather than European.

Despite a number of concerns, admixture tests are becoming increasingly popular and huge resources are being poured into admixture research by a number of different companies. The tests will undoubtedly only increase in popularity and thus become even more accurate and informative. With low-cost genome sequencing just around the corner, this field will explode in the next 5 to 15 years. You can expect to hear much more about admixture tests and genealogy.

The AncestryByDNA 2.5 test examines 175 SNPs (Version 2.0 only offered 71 markers). The test reveals percentages for the following four regions – Native American (North, South, and Central America); European (European, Middle Eastern, and the Indian subcontinent); East Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Pacific Islander); and African (Sub-Saharan African as well as Nigeria and Congo regions). The results of the test are given as percentages for each group.

AncestryByDNA also offers the EuroDNA 1.0 test. This test, only available to people that have taken the company’s other test and revealed at least 50% European ancestry, uses 145 additional SNPs to delineate European ancestry into four groups – Northern European, Southeastern European, Middle Eastern, and South Asian.

DNAPrint Genomics recently completed a project with five middle school classes at the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx. The project involved analysis of DNA from 11 students and one teacher.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

12 Comments

  1. I initiated my AncestryByDna kit November of 2008. It is now March 2009 and I have yet to hear from this company. I contacted the BBB to investigate. I seems this company may be out of business and I may be out of money. I hope not!

  2. ANCESTRYBYDNA.COM RIPPED ME OFF. I sent $650.00 to get my mothers DNA done for her before she died. We never got the results.After many phone calls and almost a year later with assurances that everything was fine and we would receive our results, they finally admitted they were going out of business.
    They told me however, that they would gladly reimburse my money but it would take a few weeks for me to see the refund. That was back in January. I tried calling again dozens of times, each time leaving them messages, begging them for my money. I even e-mailed numerous times and got no response there either. Last time I visited their WEB SITE, ANCESTRYBYDNA.COM, all contact information was gone from the site.
    THEY RIPPED ME OFF! I know that when the economy gets better they will start their business back up, probably under a different name. BEWARE!

  3. ANCESTRYBYDNA.COM RIPPED ME OFF. “I am very upset with this company!”

    I am not made of money, I can not afford to be taken advantage like this. I will never do this again.

    I have bought and paid for my DNA testing (AncestryByDNAâ„¢2.5)

    I had to send $ 240.00 before they would send me the DNA Kit; after receiving the Kit I sent it back with my DNA on Dec 10; it was delivered to the company in the envelope that was provided,on Dec 12,2008 at 10:11 AM.

    I have called several times and left messages;I have sent E-mails as well nobody has taken the time to return my calls;e-mails,nor Refund my $240.

    It is now April 4, 2009 and I have yet to hear from this company.

  4. This company is the epitomy of irresponsibility. I sent my test back in September 2008 and they haven’t send me the results (seven months later!) They told me in December 2008 that the reason was that one of their instruments had broken down. Four months later, I have not received the analysis. They totally messed up my schedule, as I had committed to write and publish articles about my genealogy. I’ve asked for re-imbursement twice. The first time the e-mail message bounced back. It does seem like they have shut-down without fulfilling commitments to their customers.

  5. Yes, they are a totally unreliable company. I paid almost $300 for an admixture test back in late November of 2008 and I never got my results. Like many people here they stole my money too. It’s absolutely crimminal!

  6. Back in I think 2004 or so I took their basic DNA test, and got the results promptly. I was going to take the EuroDNA test however decided to wait, as the human genome is being studied each day by scientists, and i assume that much more accurate testing will be available in 10 or 15 years.

    I think the lack of replies to people are due to the fact they are out of business. But even if so, they should refund people’s money: I agree that this is irresponsible.

  7. Wow! I feel for many of the posters. I sent a payment in Jan 09, only to find out in March that they were bankrupt. Fortunately I used a credit card (Discover) and they fully credited my account. If anyone here paid via CC, you should contact the company and tell them you did not receive the product. This is one of those instances were paying by credit card pays off because it offers you full protection.

  8. I appreciate the heads up. I am just starting my ancestry research and deciding what company to use for my test. I will avoid them like the plague!

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