The Role of DNA Testing for Family Research

The human body contains over 60 million million (That’s 60 Trillion!) cells including white blood cells, cheek and muscle cells. Each of these cells contains Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) information.

The autosomal DNA, X chromosomal DNA and Y chromosomal DNA, or just the DNA is present inside the nucleus of the cell. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is held in the nucleus’ outer part. Both the father and mother contribute to the autosomal DNA. A son gets the Y chromosome from his father while the mother passes on the mtDNA.

DNA research has been very much improved the last decades and now it serves various fields, like paternity tests, or forensic science. Today even genealogy research profits from the advanced DNA techniques.

DNA TestingAlthough genealogy has become a major trend and a popular hobby for many, it can be a very frustrating experience sometimes. With the DNA testing coming to aid there is no need to worry about authenticity or quality. Besides that genetic genealogy lasts through time.

1.The maternal background of a person can be traced by mitochondrial testing

This is very important since genealogists who take the test are typical female. Very often their maternal lineage is lost because of a maiden name changing into a married name. mtDNA testing helps them to find out more about their maternal background.

To make genetics easier to understand there have been many improvements. So using the lab you can get help to find your maternal line. Your test result can be compared with the samples in the database.

The mtDNA remains the same, even after many years. You, your mother, your grandmother and your great-grandmother can share the same mtDNA. This way you can track your maternal line right from the point where the first mtDNA change took place. Today women can trace back their roots 150,000 years ago through mitochondrial Eve or through natural mutation. Eve is the common ancestor in association with the matrilineal descends. That doesn’t mean that there were no other women but those of Eve. Of course there were many others, but only Eve’s lineage survived.

2. The most common form of testing in genetic genealogy is the Y chromosomal DNA testing.

With this test you can even find out whether you are related to a deceased man. The Y chromosomes trace right back from its father, Adam. The first mutation of them happened over many years. You can trace your paternal line by comparing your Y chromosome with those in databases worldwide.

Genealogists can find out the relation between two people with the same surname too. This is made possible because in almost every culture children get the surname of their father just like they get Y chromosomal DNA.

DNA testing has been very helpful in the past few years and is essential for successful genealogical research.

One Response

  1. Matthew Smith April 2, 2012

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