Now from that statement, a logical person would assume the Europeans have UNIQUE Genes that would of course be "WHITE" genes, and Blacks would have UNIQUE genes, which of course would be "BLACK" genes. Strange that the 23andMe company didn't mention what those "UNIQUE" genes were.
Moving on; the AncestryDNA Company has a commercial running in the U.S. where a young Black woman (Lyn Johnson) declares that the company tested her genes and found that she was 26% Nigerian. Here again, you would expect that Nigerians have UNIQUE genes which allows us to tell them from all other African people. And here again, the company didn't mention what those "UNIQUE" genes were. But once again, RHWW rides to the rescue - if you will allow us to help.
Nigeria has more than 500 ethnic groups, with varying languages and customs, creating a country of rich ethnic diversity. The largest ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Fulani: they together account for more than 70% of the population. While the Urhobo-Isoko, Edo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Ebira, Nupe, Gwari, Jukun, Igala, Idoma and Tiv comprise between 25 and 30%; other minorities make up the remaining 5%.
Hausa - According to a Y-DNA study by Hassan et al. (2008), about 47% of the Hausa in Niger and Cameroon have the following paternal lineages: 15.6% B, 12.5% A and 12.5% E1b1a. A small minority of around 4% are E1b1b clade bearers, a haplogroup which is most common in North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
Yoruba - 93.1% of these people are Haplogroup E-V38 (formerly E3a/ E1b1a).
Fulani - The paternal lineages of the Fula/Fulbe/Fulani tend to vary depending on geographic location. According to a study by Cruciani et al. (2002), around 90% of Fulani individuals from Burkina Faso carried haplotype 24, which corresponds with the haplogroup E1b1a that is common in West Africa. The remainder belonged to haplotype 42/haplogroup E-M33 (Now E-M132). Both of these clades are today most frequent among Niger-Congo-speaking populations, particularly those inhabiting Senegal. Similarly, 53% of the Fulani in northern Cameroon bore haplogroup E-M33, with the rest mainly carrying 12% haplogroup A and 6% haplogroup E1b1a). A minority carried the T (18%) and R-M173 (12%). Mulcare et al. (2004) observed a similar frequency of haplogroup R1 subclades in their Fulani samples from Cameroon (18%).
A study by Hassan et al. (2008) on the Fulani in Sudan observed a significantly higher occurrence of R-M173 (53.8%). The remainder belonged to various haplogroup E1b1b subclades, including 34.62% E-M78 and 27.2% E-V22. Bučková et al. (2013) similarly observed significant frequencies of the haplogroups R1b and E1b1b in their pastoralist Fulani groups from Niger. E1b1b attained its highest frequencies among the local Fulani Ader (60%) and R1b among the Fulani Zinder (~31%). This was in sharp contrast to most of the other Fulani pastoralist groups elsewhere, including those from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali and Chad. All of these latter Fulani communities instead bore over 75% West African paternal haplogroups.
Igbo - 89.3% of these people are Haplogroup E-V38 (formerly E3a/ E1b1a).
No genetic information is available for the Urhobo-Isoko, Edo and the other small minority groups: though certain Ijaw People claim to have been tested with Y-DNA R1b1b2a1a1. According to one study 6% in the Kanuri share genes with the Tuareg: which is pretty meaningless.
First and foremost: There is no such a thing as "White" genes! The reason for that is because a natural Modern Human is a "Black Skinned" African who evolved from earlier Homo-sapiens from about 400,000 years ago. Albinos, such as the European, evolved just 8,000 to 12,000 years ago, as a result of them foolishly breeding among themselves (which can only produce other Albinos), rather than as normally done - with a healthy Black only, which will produce mulattoes of various shades.
TYR Gene - The official name of this gene is “tyrosinase.” - it causes Oculocutaneous albinism type I (OCA1)
OCA2 gene (formerly called the P gene) - The official name of this gene is “oculocutaneous albinism II.”
TYRP1 gene - The official name of this gene is “tyrosinase-related protein 1.” It causes Oculocutaneous albinism type 3 (OCA3)
SLC45A2 gene - The official name of this gene is “solute carrier family 45, member 2.” It causes Oculocutaneous albinism type 4 (OCA4)
As of today, there are four more, for a total of eight different types of Albinism identified. The remainder of this page, and the many other pages in this section, provide great data details to refute the Nonsense of White genes. For those who prefer the say-so of Albinos, CBS 60 minutes did a program called: Rebuilding the Family Tree: A CBS News expose of the "Wildly" false claims of Genetic Testers. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWXbXfVr07g
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA). The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences. It is the main constituent of chromosomes, and is the carrier of genetic information.
Chromosomes - are a threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes. Chromosomes are not visible in the cell’s nucleus—not even under a microscope—when the cell is not dividing. However, the DNA that makes up chromosomes becomes more tightly packed during cell division and is then visible under a microscope. Most of what researchers know about chromosomes was learned by observing chromosomes during cell division. In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Twenty-two of these pairs, called autosomes, look the same in both males and females. The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differ between males and females. Females have two copies of the X chromosome, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.
Autosome - any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome (22 in number).
Genes - (Technical use) a distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order of which determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid molecule which a cell (or virus) may synthesize.
Monomers - A molecule that can be bonded to other identical molecules to form a polymer.
Nuclear DNA, or nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid (NDNA), is the DNA contained within the nucleus of a eukaryotic organism. Nuclear DNA encodes for the majority of the genome in eukaryotes, with mitochondrial DNA and plastid DNA coding for the rest. Nuclear DNA adheres to Mendelian inheritance, with information coming from two parents, one male and one female, rather than matrilineally, as in mitochondrial DNA.
A Eukaryote is any organism whose cells have a cell nucleus and other organelles enclosed within membranes. Eukaryotes belong to the domain Eukaryota or Eukarya, and can be single-celled or multicellular. The defining feature that sets eukaryotic cells apart from prokaryotic cells (Bacteria and Archaea) is that they have membrane-bound organelles, especially the nucleus, which contains the genetic material enclosed by the nuclear membrane.
The Plastid is a major double-membrane organelle found in the cells of plants, algae, and some other eukaryotic organisms. Plastids are the site of manufacture and storage of important chemical compounds used by the cell. They often contain pigments used in photosynthesis, and the types of pigments present can change or determine the cell's color. They have a common evolutionary origin and possess a double-stranded DNA molecule that is circular, like that of prokaryotic cells.
Mendel found that there are alternative forms of factors—now called genes—that account for variations in inherited characteristics. For example, the gene for flower color in pea plants exists in two forms, one for purple and the other for white. The alternative "forms" are now called alleles. For each biological trait, an organism inherits two alleles, one from each parent. These alleles may be the same or different. An organism that has two identical alleles for a gene is said to be homozygous for that gene (and is called a homozygote). An organism that has two different alleles for a gene is said be heterozygous for that gene (and is called a heterozygote).
The genotype of an individual is made up of the many alleles it possesses. An individual's physical appearance, or phenotype, is determined by its alleles as well as by its environment. The presence of an allele does not mean that the trait will be expressed in the individual that possesses it. If the two alleles of an inherited pair differ (the heterozygous condition), then one determines the organism’s appearance and is called the dominant allele; the other has no noticeable effect on the organism’s appearance and is called the recessive allele. Thus, in the example above the dominant purple flower allele will hide the phenotypic effects of the recessive white flower allele. This is known as the Law of Dominance but it is not a transmission law, dominance has to do with the expression of the genotype and not its transmission. The upper case letters are used to represent dominant alleles whereas the lowercase letters are used to represent recessive alleles.
What is Albinism?
Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair and/or eyes. A common myth is that people with albinism have red eyes. Although lighting conditions can allow the blood vessels at the back of the eye to be seen, which can cause the eyes to look reddish or violet, most people with Albinism have blue eyes, and some have hazel or brown eyes. There are different types of albinism and the amount of pigment in the eyes varies.
Dermatological Considerations - Because most (not all) people with Albinism have fair complexions, it’s important to avoid sun damage to the skin and eyes by taking precautions such as wearing sunscreen or sunblock, hats, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing.
Types of Albinism - While most people with albinism have very light skin and hair: levels of pigmentation can vary depending on one’s type of albinism, (as well as over time: Children born with Blonde hair, sometimes turn into Brunettes). Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA) involves the eyes, hair and skin. (There are currently 8 types of Albinism identified).
Albinism is passed from parents to their children through genes. For most types of albinism, both parents must carry an albinism gene to have a child with albinism. Parents may have normal pigmentation but still carry the gene. When both parents carry the gene, and neither parent has albinism, there is a one-in-four chance at each pregnancy that the baby will be born with albinism. This type of inheritance is called autosomal recessive inheritance. The diagrams below explain the process. Of course if BOTH parents have Albinism (Little or No pigmentation), then they can ONLY produce Albinos like themselves.
The human Y chromosome is a male-specific sex chromosome. Nearly all humans who possess a Y chromosome will be morphologically male. Although the Y chromosome is situated in the cell nucleus, it only recombines with the X-chromosome at the ends of the Y chromosome; the vast majority of the Y chromosome (95%) does not recombine. When mutations (errors in the copying process) arise in the Y chromosome in the form of single-nucleotide polymorphisms) or short tandem repeats, they are passed down directly from father to son in a direct male line of descent. This line is known as the patriline.
A (Y) chromosome DNA test (Y-DNA test) is a genealogical DNA test which is used to explore a man's patrilineal or direct father's-line ancestry. The Y chromosome, like the patrilineal surname, passes down virtually unchanged from father to son. Every now and then occasional mistakes in the copying process occur, and these mutations can be used to estimate the time frame in which the two individuals share a most recent common ancestor or MRCA. If their test results are a perfect or nearly perfect match, they are related within a genealogical time frame. Each person can then look at the other's father-line information, typically the names of each patrilineal ancestor and his spouse, together with the dates and places of their marriage and of both spouses' births and deaths. The two matched persons may find a common ancestor or MRCA, as well as whatever information the other already has about their joint patriline or father's line prior to the MRCA. Y-DNA tests are typically coordinated in a surname DNA project. The mutation rate for nuclear DNA is less than 0.3% while that of mitochondrial DNA is generally higher. Women who wish to determine their direct paternal DNA ancestry can ask their father, brother, paternal uncle, paternal grandfather, or a cousin who shares the same surname lineage (the same Y-DNA) to take a test for them.
Autosomal DNA is a term used in genetic genealogy to describe DNA which is inherited from the autosomal chromosomes. An autosome is any of the numbered chromosomes, as opposed to the sex chromosomes. Autosomes are numbered roughly in relation to their sizes. That is, Chromosome 1 has approximately 2,800 genes, while chromosome 22 has approximately 750 genes. There is no established abbreviation for autosomal DNA: atDNA (more common) and auDNA are used.
Autosomal DNA is inherited from both parents, and includes random contributions from their parents, grandparents, and so on. Therefore, your autosomes essentially contain a complete genetic record, with all branches of your ancestry at some point contributing a piece of your autosomal DNA.
Everyone (males and females) can take this test: Autosomal DNA tests can be used to search for relative connections along any branch of your family tree. Unless the connection is so far back that the shared DNA has essentially been eliminated through too many generations of recombination, any autosomal match between two individuals indicates a possible genetic connection. There is nothing in this test that will tell you which branch of your family the match is on, however. Therefore, having your parents, grandparents, cousins, and other family members tested will help you to narrow down potential matches.
For each of your twenty-two pairs of autosomal chromosomes, you received one from your mother and one from your father. Before they passed these chromosomes down to you, the contents were randomly jumbled in a process called "recombination" (this is why you and your siblings are all a little different from each other).
Your parents, in turn, received their chromosomes from their parents (your grandparents). Your autosomal DNA, therefore, contains random bits of DNA from your great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, and so on.
Close relatives will share large fragments of DNA from a common ancestor. Connections arising from more distant relatives will result in smaller fragments of shared DNA.
The smaller the fragment of shared autosomal DNA, generally the further back the connection in your family tree. Even these tiny segments of shared DNA can potentially hold a clue, however! The way in which your individual DNA has recombined through the generations also means that you may no longer carry DNA from a particular ancestor. Distant relatives often share no genetic material at all, although it is also possible to match an individual through a very distant ancestor.
The average amount of autosomal DNA shared with a relative decreases with each successive generation. Percentages are also approximate - for example a sibling may share anywhere from 47–52% of their DNA in common.
50% (parents and siblings)
25% (grandparents, aunts/uncles, half-siblings, double first-cousins)
12.5% (first cousins)
6.25% (first cousins, once removed)
3.125 (second cousins, first cousins twice removed)
0.781% (third cousins)
0.195% (fourth cousins)
The chance that an autosomal DNA test will accurately detect a relative decreases with the distance of the relationship. For example, most autosomal DNA ancestry tests predict an accuracy rate of 90–98% when detecting a match with a 3rd cousin, but around a 45–50% chance of detecting a match with a fourth cousin.
Depending on the DNA recombination, however, an autosomal test may sometimes accurately detect more distant cousins (fifth cousins and beyond). Double descent from a common distant ancestor (e.g. marriage of second cousins) may potentially increase the chance of a match
Mitochondrial DNA - Although most DNA is packaged in chromosomes within the nucleus, mitochondria also have a small amount of their own DNA. This genetic material is known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA. Mitochondria are structures within cells that convert the energy from food into a form that cells can use. Each cell contains hundreds to thousands of mitochondria, which are located in the fluid that surrounds the nucleus (the cytoplasm).
In humans, mitochondrial DNA spans about 16,500 DNA building blocks (base pairs), representing a small fraction of the total DNA in cells. Mitochondrial DNA contains 37 genes, all of which are essential for normal mitochondrial function. Thirteen of these genes provide instructions for making enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Oxidative phosphorylation is a process that uses oxygen and simple sugars to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell's main energy source. The remaining genes provide instructions for making molecules called transfer RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA), which are chemical cousins of DNA. These types of RNA help assemble protein building blocks (amino acids) into functioning proteins.
A mitochondrial DNA test (mtDNA test) traces a person's matrilineal or mother-line ancestry using the DNA in his or her mitochondria. MtDNA is passed down by the mother unchanged, to all her children, both male and female. A mitochondrial DNA test can therefore be taken by both men and women. If a perfect match is found to another person's mtDNA test results, one may find a common ancestor in the other relative's (matrilineal) "information table". Males inherit mtDNA from their mother but do not pass it on to their children. Males inherit Y-DNA from their father. They pass on Y-DNA to their sons but not their daughters. Females inherit mtDNA from their mother. They pass on mtDNA to both their male and female children. Females do not inherit Y-DNA from their father.
MtDNA by current conventions is divided into three regions. They are the coding region (00577-16023) and two hyper-variable regions (HVR1 [16024-16569], and HVR2 [00001-00576]).
This early sample is known as the Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS). An updated reference sequence was subsequently published and samples are now compared to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence (rCRS). A list of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is returned. The relatively few "mutations" or "transitions" that are found are then reported simply as differences from the CRS
Haplogroup H (mtDNA)
Undifferentiated haplogroup H has been found among Palestinians (14%), Syrians (13.6%), Druze (10.6%), Iraqis (9.5%), Somalis (6.7%), Egyptians (5.7% in El-Hayez; 14.7% in Gurna), Saudis (5.3–10%), Soqotri (3.1%), Nubians (1.3%), and Yemenis (0–13.9%).
H2, H6 and H8
THESE ARE "SOME" OF THE ACTUAL MtDNA HAPLOGROUPS IN AFRICA!
(Just a small sampling of Africans have been tested for DNA).
As a point of interest, the "OLDEST" DNA extracted from Human remains in Europe is the MtDNA haplogroup "U2" and Y-DNA "C" taken from the remains of this Black African Man whom the Albinos have tried mightily to make appear Caucasian.
In 2016 it was found that a 31-35 thousand years old human from the cave named Paglicci 33 (Rignano Garganico (FG, Apulia, Italy) carried Y-DNA haplogroup I and mtDNA haplogroup U8c.
A FMS (full mitochondrial sequence) test will report results for all 16,569 bases in the mtGenome and will provide the most detailed subclade assignment. If two people have an exact FMS match they will generally share a common ancestor within the last 22 generations (about 550 years). Conversely it is sometimes possible for mothers and daughters or siblings to have differences in their mtDNA. These differences usually take the form of a heteroplasmy.
Note: It takes only three generations for a Black Man mating ONLY with Albino women, to produce Great grandchildren who look the same as "Most" modern Europeans.
The most up-to-date version of the mtDNA tree can be viewed at www.phylotree.org. Phylotree is now on Build 17. Updates are released once or twice a year. Genetic genealogists who have taken mtDNA tests with different companies will sometimes find that they receive different haplogroup assignments. This is because the companies are using different versions of the mtDNA tree. Family Tree DNA updated to Build 17 towards the end of March 2017. However the Genographic Project is currently using Build 16, and 23andMe uses Build 7.
From: The Tech Museum of Innovation, Stanford School of Medicine. Its content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of Stanford University or the Department of Genetics.
Case History: April 3, 2013
Hello, I did an African mtDNA ancestry test in hopes of pinpointing a tribe of my African lineage (that's what the company claimed they do). I'm an African-American woman. I received my results and it said that my lineage was of European descent, non-African. What does this mean? I was very confused because I'm clearly black as are my parents and grandparents before them. Does that mean there is no African in me at all or that they just didn't find it? A curious adult from Florida
Answer by Dr. Barry Starr, Stanford University
There is undoubtedly plenty of African in your DNA. The problem is that the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test missed it. Which isn’t surprising if we dig a little deeper into what this sort of test can actually tell you. A mtDNA test can look deep into the past which is why it is so useful for the kind of information you were looking for. But its big disadvantage is that it can only follow your maternal line back. And in fact, it can really only trace back a single maternal line. (Comment - we all have many grandmothers, both from our mothers AND fathers).
Mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to children. So you get your mtDNA from your mom, who got it from her mom and so on all the way back to Mitochondrial Eve.
This obviously means that the test ignores your dad’s side of the family since you do not have his mtDNA. But it also means that it is ignores your mom’s dad’s mtDNA because your mom only got hers from her mom.
And it ignores lots of other relatives from your mother's side of the family too. Pretty much anyone not on a direct maternal line will be missed. It also means that it takes just a single ancestor from a different ethnic group to move the line onto a whole new track. Imagine that ten or fifteen generations back, one of your ancestors along the maternal line was Caucasian. Now as we trace the line back, we are tracing her line back. You would look Caucasian.
This would be true even if everyone after that woman had kids with African Americans. There wouldn’t be any dilution of the mtDNA for the 200-300 years. And in reality, we don’t need to go back ten or fifteen generations. Imagine a man like President Obama took one of these tests. His results would come back as 100% white, no black whatsoever because his mom is Caucasian. This is even though he is obviously half black from his dad.
Something like this almost certainly happened to you. There is probably an unbroken line back to a Caucasian woman and so your mtDNA looks Caucasian. This kind of result is always a risk with mtDNA tests. They are incredibly powerful and incredibly limited at the same time. They can tell you a lot about distant relatives but you can only see a small subset of them.
DNA tests that look at the rest of your DNA, autosomal DNA tests, would definitely find African in your DNA but they wouldn’t be able to see very far back in time because of how DNA is passed down. In fact these DNA tests can only go back reliably four or five generations. What this means is that an autosomal DNA test would immediately have found that you were African but it probably would not have been able to tell you the tribe(s) your ancestors came from. And it would have missed your white ancestor too! (Note that even this sincere appearing Albino is still pushing the lie that Albinos have genes different than Blacks - that's why you take some, and throw-away some, of what Albinos say).
Organisms that reproduce asexually are haploid. Sexually reproducing organisms are diploid (having two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent). In humans, only their egg and sperm cells are haploid.
A haplotype is a SET of DNA variations, or polymorphisms, that tend to be inherited together. A haplotype can refer to a combination of alleles or to a set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found on the same chromosome.
A haplogroup is a genetic population of people who share a common ancestor on the patriline or the matriline. A Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup is defined by mutations in the non-recombining portions of DNA in the Y chromosome. (Mutations are copying mistakes in the DNA sequence): Single mistakes are called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
The human Y-chromosome accumulates roughly 2 mutations per generation. Y-DNA haplogroups represent major branches of the Y-chromosome phylogenetic tree that share hundreds or even thousands of mutations unique to each haplogroup. The names of the SNPs are numbers prefixed with a letter or set of letters. These most often indicate the research lab that discovered it. The research group names the SNP by assigning it the letter or set of letters that represents their lab. The team then assigns a sequential number to the SNP. For example, the University of Arizona prefixes SNPs they discover with the letter P. Thus, P109 is the 109th SNP named by the University of Arizona. In addition, the SNP M253 is the 253rd SNP that the research group at Stanford University has named.
Markers numbered P45–P122 were discovered in the course of various resequencing projects in the Hammer lab (Hammer et al. 2003; Wilder et al. 2004a, b), while Underhill’s group published markers in the range of M226–M450. Identical SNPs that were discovered separately are listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily in the order of discovery, and separated by "/". Examples: M29/P3/PN3, M276/P247 and M277/P248.
Major Haplogroups are identified by a Capital letter of the alphabet (A through T), and refinements (Subclades) consist of additional number and letter combinations, such as (for example) A → A1 → A1a.
[New format]: Haplogroups and Subclades are now defined by a terminal SNP (the SNP furthest down in the Y-chromosome phylogenetic tree). The Y Chromosome Consortium (YCC) developed a system naming Y-DNA haplogroups and their subclades with the first letter of the major Y-DNA haplogroup, followed by a dash and the name of the defining terminal SNP. New format example = J-L147, in lieu of, J1c3d. Note subclades use the FULL alphabet A to Z with NO dash. Thus A > BT > Z40413 can be written as A-Z40413.
Paragroup is a term used to describe lineages within a haplogroup that are not defined by any additional unique markers. In human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups, paragroups are typically represented by an asterisk (*) placed after the main haplogroup.
Genetic distance is the term used to describe the number of differences or mutations between two sets of Y-chromosome DNA or mitochondrial DNA test results. A genetic distance of zero means that there are no differences in the two results and there is an exact match.
Note: The letter is totally unrelated to anything - note this nonsense: L-M20 is a descendant of Haplogroup LT, which is a descendant of haplogroup K-M9. According to Spencer Wells, M20 migrated into India ca. 30,000 years ago.
Groups without mutation M168
Haplogroup A (M91) (Africa, especially the Khoisan and Nilotes)
Haplogroup B (M60) (Africa, especially the Pygmies and Hadzabe)
[About M168] Haplogroup CT is a human Y chromosome haplogroup, defining one of the major paternal lineages of humanity. Men who carry this haplogroup have Y chromosomes with the SNP mutation M168, along with P9.1 and M294. These mutations are present in all modern human male lineages except A and B-M60, which are both found almost exclusively in Africa.
The most recent common male line ancestor (MRCA) of all CT men today probably predated the recent African origin of modern humans, a migration in which some of his descendants participated. He is therefore thought to have lived in Africa before this proposed migration. In keeping with the jocular title of "Y-chromosomal Adam" given to the patrilineal ancestor of all living humans, CT-M168 has therefore also been referred to in popularized accounts as being the lineage of "Eurasian Adam" or "Out of Africa Adam". No male in paragroup CT* has yet been discovered. This means that all males carrying this haplogroup are also defined as being in one of the several major branch clades. All known surviving descendant lineages of CT are in one of two major subclades, CF and DE. In turn, DE is divided into an Asia-distributed haplogroup D-M174 and a now predominantly Africa-distributed haplogroup E-M96, while CF is divided into an East Asian, American, and Oceanian haplogroup C-M130 and haplogroup F-M89, which dominates most non-African populations. Haplogroup CT has been found in various fossils that were analysed for ancient DNA, including specimens associated with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C (1/1; 100%), Ganj Dareh Iran Neolithic (1/2 50%), Natufian (2/5; 40%), and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (2/7; ~29%) cultures.
Groups with mutation M168 (mutation M168 occurred ~50,000 bp)
Haplogroup C (M130) (Oceania, North/Central/East Asia, North America and a minor presence in South America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, and Europe).
YAP+ haplogroups: Haplogroup DE (M1, M145, M203), Haplogroup D (M174) (Tibet, Japan, the Andaman Islands), Haplogroup E (M96), Haplogroup E1b1a (V38) West Africa and surrounding regions; formerly known as E3a, Haplogroup E1b1b (M215) Associated with the Spread of Afro-Asiatic languages and Semitic people but also found in; East Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, the Balkans; formerly known as E3b.
Groups with mutation M89 - (mutation M89 occurred ~45,000 bp)
Haplogroup F (M89) Oceania, Europe, Asia, North and South America, Haplogroup FT (P14, M213) (southern India, Sri Lanka, China), Haplogroup G (M201) (present among many ethnic groups in Eurasia, usually at low frequency; most common in the Caucasus, the Iranian plateau, and Anatolia; in Europe mainly in Greece, Italy, Iberia, the Tyrol, Bohemia; extremely rare in Northern Europe), Haplogroup H (M69) (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia), Haplogroup IJK (L15, L16).
Groups with mutations L15 & L16
L15 - The defining SNP L15 is located at Y chromosomal location rs9786139 with the ancestral value being A and the derived value being G.
L16 - The defining SNP L16 is at location rs9786714 with the ancestral value being G and the derived value being A.
Haplogroup IJK (L15, L16), Haplogroup IJ (S2, S22), Haplogroup I (M170, P19, M258) (widespread in Europe, found infrequently in parts of the Middle East, and virtually absent elsewhere), Haplogroup I1 (M253, M307, P30, P40) (Northern Europe, dominant in Scandinavia).
Haplogroup I2 (S31) (Central and Southeast Europe, Sardinia), Haplogroup J (M304) (the Middle East, Turkey, Caucasus, Italy, Greece, the Balkans, North Africa), Haplogroup J* (Mainly found in Socotra, with a few observations in Pakistan, Oman, Greece, the Czech Republic, and among Turkic peoples), Haplogroup J1 (M267) (Mostly associated with Semitic peoples in the Middle East but also found in; Mediterranean Europe, Ethiopia, North Africa, Iran, Pakistan, India and with Northeast Caucasian peoples in Dagestan; J1 with DYS388=13 is associated with eastern Anatolia).
Haplogroup J2 (M172) (Mainly found in West Asia, Central Asia, Southern Europe, and North Africa), Haplogroup K (M9, P128, P131, P132).
Groups with mutation M9 - (mutation M9 occurred ~40,000 bp)
Haplogroup K, Haplogroup LT (L298/P326), Haplogroup L (M11, M20, M22, M61, M185, M295) (South Asia, Central Asia, Southwestern Asia, the Mediterranean), Haplogroup T (M70, M184/USP9Y+3178, M193, M272) (North Africa, Horn of Africa, Southwest Asia, the Mediterranean, South Asia); formerly known as Haplogroup K2, Haplogroup K(xLT) (rs2033003/M526).
Groups with mutation M526
Groups with mutation M526: Haplogroup M (P256) (New Guinea, Melanesia, eastern Indonesia), Haplogroup NO (M214), Haplogroup N (M231) (northernmost Eurasia, especially among the Uralic peoples), Haplogroup O (M175) (East Asia, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, South Asia, Central Asia), Haplogroup O1 (F265), Haplogroup O1a (MSY2.2), Haplogroup O1b (P31, M268), Haplogroup O2 (M122), Haplogroup P-M45 (M45) (M45 occurred ~35,000 bp), Haplogroup Q-M242 (M242) (Occurred ~15,000–20,000 bp. Found in Asia and the Americas), Haplogroup Q-M3 (M3) (North America, Central America, and South America), Haplogroup R (M207), Haplogroup R1 (M173), Haplogroup R1a (M17) (Central Asia, South Asia, and Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe), Haplogroup R1b (M343) (Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, South Asia, North Africa, Central Africa), Haplogroup R2 (M124) (South Asia, Caucasus, Central Asia), Haplogroup S (M230, P202, P204) (New Guinea, Melanesia, eastern Indonesia).
Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups:
Human mtDNA haplogroups are lettered: A, B, C, CZ, D, E, F, G, H, HV, I, J, pre-JT, JT, K, L0, L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L6, M, N, P, Q, R, R0, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. The most up-to-date version of the mtDNA tree is maintained by Mannis van Oven on the PhyloTree website.
Ancestry.com/AncestryDNA/RootsWeb/FindAGrave: claims 5 million people in its database. Wikipedia reports that they have just over one million actual genetic samples.
23andMe also claims 5 million people in its database - since they are much younger than Ancestry.com: Founded 2006 vs 1983, the odds are that their claim is also problematic.
GenCove has no published numbers.
The Genographic Project, launched on 13 April 2005 by the National Geographic Society and IBM, is a multi-year genetic anthropology study that aims to map historical human migration patterns by collecting and analysing DNA samples. Over 900,000 participants in over 140 countries have joined the project.
FamilyTreeDNA Database: they say - "Our databases are the most comprehensive in the field of Genetic Genealogy. As of May 11, 2018, the Family Tree DNA database has 965,088 records. Total numbers include transfers from the Genographic Project and resellers in Europe and Middle East."
The material used for testing is the Saliva cells or inside Cheek cells swabbed by the client.
Who are the Clients?
The overwhelming majority of people being tested are Albinos in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. And that fact alone creates inherent problems of scientific value and accuracy.
To wit: the Dravidian Albino phenotype, as found in Europe, North America (United States and Canada), and Australia: is in those places due to the murder of the indigenous populations just several hundred years ago, so there can be no ancient inference drawn from their results.
Answering: When the Worlds Albinos got where they currently are.
The Albinos of Europe are there as a result of two migrations/invasions: the first circa 1,200 B.C. precipitating the "Sea Peoples" exodus. The second: the migrations/invasions of the Germanics/Slavs/Turks in the 1st. thru 6th. centuries from Asia: termed, the "Migration Period" by Albinos. Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Period
The Albinos of the Americas starting arriving after the voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1492 A.D.
The Albinos of Australia started arriving in 1770 (initially just prisoners were sent there).
The Albinos number 0.8 to 1.0 Billion people, depending on source of numbers. The Human population of this planet (according to the U.S. Census bureau is 7.5 billion: caution - consider the source – over-count Albinos - undercount Blacks - in self-service.
So using THEIR numbers, Albinos account for about 13% of the human population on Earth. BUT because they mostly derive from the Black Dravidian of India, which are themselves, a small part of the Black race, their GENETIC contribution to the Human Genome is much LESS! Note this analysis:
We cannot quantify having less genetic diversity than the people in ONE African village, but it's gotta be really SMALL!
As already stated: Almost ALL of the people in the Ancestry Databases are European type Albinos in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. They have very few samples from where the MAJORITY of Humans live: Africa, Asia, and the Americas south of the United States. And it is from this TINY part of the Human Race/Genome, that Albino companies presume to tell gullible people about their Ancestors! Which is pretty much like a Fly on an Elephants Ass trying to describe an Elephant. You just know that can't work: And as shown before, determining ancestry by DNA haplogroup is not possible because there is no exclusively White/Albino haplogroups.
The term Loci simply means a particular position, point, or place.
What is noncoding DNA?
Interpreting short tandem repeat variations in humans using mutational constraint (2017)
Melissa Gymrek, Thomas Willems, David Reich, & Yaniv Erlic
STR mutations are responsible for over 30 Mendelian disorders, many of which are thought to arise spontaneously from de novo mutations. Emerging evidence suggests that STRs have an important role in complex traits such as gene expression and DNA methylation. In addition, analyses of cancer cell lines have shown that STR instability is a chief clinical sign for tumor prognosis, but the functional impact of these instabilities is largely unknown.
Y-DNA Tests use STR markers (and SNPs): A short tandem repeat (STR or microsatellite) is a pattern of two or more nucleotides that are repeated directly adjacent to each other. The repeats can range in length from 2 to 6 base pairs/repeat. A short tandem repeat polymorphism occurs when homologous STR loci differ in the number of repeats between individuals. By identifying repeats of a specific sequence at specific locations in the genome, it is possible to create a genetic profile of an individual. They report your STR marker results as the measured number of repeats for each marker. In the example below, the marker DYS393 has 12 repeats.
The meaning of the term "Marker and DYS" below
D = DNA <> Y = Y-chromosome <> S = (unique) segment number
In this case Y-DNA segment 393, 39, 19, 391, 385, 426 return values of 12, 23, 12, 10, 16, 11
Currently marker DYS726 is the highest numbered marker studied.
Family Tree DNA says: By themselves, Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) short tandem repeat (STR) markers from a Y-DNA test do not have any particular meaning (note that as of 2014 more than 700,000 of them had been identified (above). The value of testing Y-DNA STR markers comes from creating a Y-DNA signature (haplotype) with them and comparing that Y-DNA signature to others in a database. They are useful for genetic genealogy because your Y-DNA signature distinguishes your paternal lineage from others. They can then be used with Family Tree DNA’s comparative database to discover genealogical connections or historic ancestry.
DNA testing companies or labs in certain cases use different nomenclatures to designate the same Y-STR allele. Thus, a conversion must be applied in these cases to accurately compare Y-STR results obtained from different companies. The most common nomenclature is based on guidance provided by NIST for Y-STR markers historically reported differently by various companies. The NIST standard is the proposal of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy) for genetic genealogy companies. DYS454 is the least diverse, and multi-copy marker DYS464 is the most diverse Y-STR marker. Genealogical DNA test labs CAN examine up to 442 Y-STRs.
The short answer is that an allele is a variant form of a gene. Explained in greater detail, each gene resides at a specific locus (location on a chromosome) in two copies, one copy of the gene inherited from each parent. The copies, however, are not necessarily the same. When the copies of a gene differ from each other, they are known as alleles. A given gene may have multiple different alleles, though only two alleles are present at the gene’s locus in any individual.
Alleles can sometimes result in different phenotypes (observable traits), with certain alleles being dominant (overriding the traits of other alleles) or, in some cases, multiple alleles acting in a codominant fashion. An example of the latter is the human ABO blood group system, in which persons with type AB blood have one allele for A and one for B (persons with neither allele are type O). An example of dominant allele expression is flower color in pea plants. A plant with purple flowers actually has a genotype (genetic makeup) consisting of a gene with a dominant P and a recessive p allele.
What are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)?
From: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Single nucleotide polymorphisms, frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”), are the most common type of genetic variation among people. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. For example, a SNP may replace the nucleotide cytosine (C) with the nucleotide thymine (T) in a certain stretch of DNA.
A nucleotide is one of the structural components, or building blocks, of DNA and RNA. A nucleotide consists of a base (one of four chemicals: adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine) plus a molecule of sugar and one of phosphoric acid.
More: C, T, and U are called pyrimidines and each has a single nitrogen-containing ring. A and G are called purines and each has two nitrogen-containing rings. Definition from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
For example, at a specific base position in the human genome, the C nucleotide may appear in most individuals, but in a minority of individuals, the position is occupied by an A. This means that there is a SNP at this specific position, and the two possible nucleotide variations – C or A – are said to be alleles for this position.
SNPs occur normally throughout a person’s DNA. They occur once in every 300 nucleotides on average, which means there are roughly 10 million SNPs in the human genome. Most commonly, these variations are found in the DNA between genes. They can act as biological markers, helping scientists locate genes that are associated with disease. When SNPs occur within a gene or in a regulatory region near a gene, they may play a more direct role in disease by affecting the gene’s function.
Most SNPs have no effect on health or development. Some of these genetic differences, however, have proven to be very important in the study of human health. Researchers have found SNPs that may help predict an individual’s response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors such as toxins, and risk of developing particular diseases. SNPs can also be used to track the inheritance of disease genes within families. Future studies will work to identify SNPs associated with complex diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Here’s a simplified example of how AncestryDNA turns those trends into an ethnicity estimate. AncestryDNA looks at about 700,000 markers in your DNA sample. Those markers are called SNPs (pronounced snips). And each snip is made up of a pair of letters, either some combination of A and/or T or C and/or G. Let’s say that at SNP rs122 there are two possibilities: A and T. Because you get one letter (or allele) from each parent, you can have an AA, AT, or TT. Each possible outcome at each SNP has a probability for how likely it is to show up in each region represented by the reference panel. We’ll pretend that rs122 occurs in three populations—Native American, Swedish, and English—at the following frequencies: A = appears 5% of the time in Native American populations, 75% in English populations, and 80% in Swedish T = appears 95% of the time in Native American populations, 25% in English populations, and 20% in Swedish. So, if you have AA at rs122, it seems you are more likely to be Swedish than Native American. If your DNA reads TT, the opposite seems more likely. One SNP doesn’t tell us much about your ethnicity, but when we apply the same process to thousands of SNPs, and then do the math, the grand total becomes the basis for your ethnicity estimate.
You Contain a Range of Possibilities: When you get your ethnicity estimate, the first thing you look for are the region names and percentages, right? “I’m 32% Ireland! 24% Native American! 9% Benin/Togo—where’s Benin/Togo?” But there are some other numbers that are just as important. Here’s an example of an AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate for someone with strong ties to northern Europe: These results say that AncestryDNA estimates that 99% of this customer’s DNA comes from Europe. The next level includes Great Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia. Each of these regions has a percentage and a range. AncestryDNA determines the range by analyzing each DNA sample an extra 40 times. Each time, a few randomly selected portions of the sample are left out to help improve statistical validity of the first analysis, which is done with the entire sample. The percentage you get is the average of those 40 tests. The range reflects most of the results of those 40 analyses, with extreme outliers left out.
In the example above, those 40 analyses showed that as little as 14% and as much as 46% of this customer’s DNA appears to match the Ancestry Irish reference panel, with an average percentage of 30%. The likelihood that this user’s actual genetic Irish ethnicity is exactly 30% is not very high. However, AncestryDNA has relatively high confidence that this person’s genetic ethnicity falls within the range.
SNPs were used initially for matching a forensic DNA sample to a suspect but it has been phased out with development of STR-based DNA fingerprinting techniques. In the future SNPs may be used in forensics for some phenotypic clues like eye color, hair color, ethnicity, etc. Kidd et al. have demonstrated that a panel of 19 SNPs can identify the ethnic group with good probability of match (Pm = 10^-7) in 40 population groups studied.
Here again let’s get real: Albinos freely admit that they KILLED-OFF more than 90% of the indigenous Black and Mongol people of the Americas. Mostly all that's left is THEIR mostly Albino Mulattoes - yes we know, mulatto is technically 50/50. So when they see a trace in the Modern North/South American Indian, aren't they really seeing Albino Europeans?
Note: No genome of the Black and Mongol Native Americans has ever been done, so NOBODY has any idea of what their genetic makeup actually looks like! In the United States the DNA test on the "Ancient Skeletons" is often Blocked by the Albino people whom the Albino government has falsely set up as the descendents of the Ancient Americans. Together with the contrived lie that the Blacks claiming tribal membership were actually the Tribes "SLAVES". The U.S. government and these Albinos/Mulattoes have managed to deny the actual "Full Blooded" Indians their rights and property.
Example of how SNPs and STRs are used in analysis: From Wikipedia.
Haplogroup G-M406: In human genetics, Haplogroup G-M406 is a Y-chromosome haplogroup. G-M406 is a branch of Haplogroup G Y-DNA (M201). More specifically in descending order, G-M406 is a subbranch also of G2 (P287), G2a (P15) and finally G2a2b (L30/S126) Haplogroup G-M406 seems most common in Turkey and Greece. Secondary concentrations of G-M406 are found in the northern and eastern Mediterranean, and it is found in very small numbers in more inland areas of Europe, the Middle East, and the southern Caucasus Mountains area.
A large number of G-M406 persons have the value of 21 at short tandem repeat (STR) marker DYS390, and all G-M406 men will have the M406 SNP mutation which characterizes this group. The 21 at DYS390 is uncommon among G persons outside the G-M406 group. In G-M406 persons, the DYS391 marker has mostly a value of 10, but sometimes 11, and DYS392 is almost always 11 except in one distinct cluster. If a sample meets the criteria indicated for these three markers, it is likely the sample is G-M406.
This M406 SNP was first reported in 2008. The M designation indicates it was first identified at Stanford University. M406 is located on the Y chromosome at position 2809995, reference SNP ID i4000120. The mutation involves a change from T to G. The SNPs L184 and L185 (respectively 17586994 with a mutation from A to G, and 20922998 with a mutation from C to G) were found to exist in only some members of a M406+ family and are now considered private SNPs with no practical use outside this family. Research studies have not addressed the age of G-M406. Based on available 67-marker STR samples, it would seem that the mutation that defines G-M406 arose perhaps about 4,000 years ago.
Here again, reality gets in the way of Albino machinations: The Turks of Turkey and Greece (and North Africa, the Middle-East and Arabia) are VERY RECENT inhabitants of the West. They were first reported in the West as Slave Palace guards (Mamluks) of the Black Arabs in Baghdad in the 7th. century. Before that they were inhabitants of Mongolia, later chased out of Asia by the Mongols. They conquered Asia Minor, and created the Ottoman Empire; which lasted until the end of WW1 - (1299–1922). They destroyed the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) in 1452. Point being - Turks Weren't there 4,000 year ago!
The DYS, DYZ, and DYF prefixes are part of the scientific name for a short tandem repeat (STR) found on the Y chromosome. STR markers are named according to guidelines published by the HUGO Gene nomenclature committee (HUGO). For Y-DNA STR tests:
D stands for DNA.
Y stands for Y chromosome.
S, Z, and F stand for the complexity of the repeat segment as follows:
S is a unique segment.
Z is a number of repetitive segments at one site.
F is a segment that has multiple copies on the Y chromosome.
This from AncestryDNA:
Creating an ethnicity estimate based on your DNA sample is a complex process based on probability, statistics, shared DNA, and ongoing research and science. AncestryDNA calculates your ethnicity estimate by comparing your DNA to a reference panel made up of thousands of people. Because reference panels and the way we analyze your DNA both change as we get more data, your ethnicity results can change as we get more data, too.
What’s a reference panel?
How does AncestryDNA decide if your DNA came from Ireland or Polynesia or Senegal or another region? First, our scientists create a reference panel by testing lots of people whose families have lived in one area for generations—Ireland, for example. Then they look for trends in their DNA results and compare those to other groups. Once they identify these trends for each region in the reference panel, they can look for them in your AncestryDNA test results.
Finding patterns that are distinct enough to tell one group from another is harder in places like Europe, where people have moved around and intermarried a lot. That’s why AncestryDNA continues to gather samples and improve its reference panel.
How DNA Testing Botched My Family's Heritage, and Probably Yours, Too
Excerpt: I decided to conduct an experiment. I mailed my own spit samples to AncestryDNA, as well as to 23andMe and National Geographic. For each test I got back, the story of my genetic heritage was different—in some cases, wildly so.
AncestryDNA, National Geographic (which partners with the DNA sequencing company Helix for its test), 23andMe, and GenCove. Each produced different results for Kristen, here is her story:
Four tests, four very different answers about where my DNA comes from—including some results that contradicted family history I felt confident was fact. What gives? There are a few different factors at play here. Genetics is inherently a comparative science: Data about your genes is determined by comparing them to the genes of other people.
As Adam Rutherford, a British geneticist and author of the excellent book “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived,” explained to me, we’ve got a fundamental misunderstanding of what an ancestry DNA test even does. “They’re not telling you where your DNA comes from in the past,” he told me, “They’re telling you where on Earth your DNA is from today.”
Ancestry, for example, had determined that my Aunt Cat was 30 percent Italian by comparing her genes to other people in its database of more than six million people, and finding presumably that her genes had a lot of things in common with the present-day people of Italy. “They’re not telling you where your DNA comes from in the past. They’re telling you where on Earth your DNA is from today.”
Heritage DNA tests are more accurate for some groups of people than others, depending how many people with similar DNA to yours have already taken their test. Ancestry and 23andMe have actually both published papers about how their statistical modeling works. As Ancestry puts it: “When considering AncestryDNA estimates of genetic ethnicity it is important to remember that our estimates are, in fact, estimates. The estimates are variable and depend on the method applied, the reference panel used, and the other customer samples included during estimation.”
That the data sets are primarily made up of paying customers also skews demographics. If there’s only a small number of Middle Eastern DNA samples that your DNA has been matched against, it’s less likely you’ll get a strong Middle Eastern match. “Different companies have different reference data sets and different algorithms, hence the variance in results,” a spokesman from 23andMe told me. “Middle Eastern reference populations are not as well represented as European, an industry-wide challenge.”
As a person of Syrian descent, the British genealogist Debbie Kennett told me, my test was simply not going to be as accurate as fellow Americans whose relatives skew more European. “The tests are mainly geared for an American audience, and they tend to not have a lot of Middle Eastern ancestry,” she said. Likewise, Kennett said, because relatively few English people have taken tests from American companies like Ancestry or 23andMe, residents of the U.K. are likely to find less useful results. “A lot of English people come up with a low percentage of British. My dad was only 8 percent British and most of his ancestors as far back as I can trace came back from Great Britain,” she told me. “People in America come up with much higher percentage of British, often.”
Another anecdote that stuck with me came from my friend Alexis Madrigal. Initially, he said, his Mexican family came up as Arab North African, which was surprising. As 23andMe refined its test and its data set grew, it also refined the results: Now, he was descended from Jewish people from Southern Europe. The number of Madrigals in central Spain had long led the family to suspect that their migratory path to Mexico had at some point passed through this region. As more people took the test, the picture of where his family was “from” changed. The Canadian bioethicist Timothy Caulfield shared a similar story. At first a DNA test revealed he was entirely Irish, but as the data set changed, he gradually became less Irish.
When we talk about “ancestry,” we also don’t always mean the same thing. Ancestry just implies people you’re descended from. But when? In America, we often mean whenever our relatives came to the U.S. On my dad’s side, I expected to see a lot of Scandinavian, because just a few generations ago my great grandparents came from Norway to North Dakota. On my mom’s side, my grandmother has a relative that came to America on the Mayflower. Both are what come to mind when I think of my “ancestors,” but they are separated by several generations and hundreds of years in time. Rutherford pointed out that if we went 5oo years back, my ancestors were probably from all over Europe. “You and I are probably fifth cousins,” he said. Where your ancestors are from depends on what period in time you’re talking about. Why don’t I instead say I’m 50 percent North Dakotan and 50 percent Texan?
Tests also differ from one another because they’re simply looking at different things. The results of ancestry tests aren’t based on a reading of your whole genome. The vast majority of every human’s DNA is identical to any other human’s. Ancestry tests look at SNPs, the places on your genome where an individual letter tends to differ between people and give us insight into characteristics like disease, ancestry, and physical appearance. When an SNP occurs within a gene, then, in science-speak, that gene has more than one allele, or alternate forms of a gene that exist in the exact same place on a chromosome. To make matters more confusing, some tests look at mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA, while others don’t.
The CEO of GenCove, the company where I had uploaded my 23andMe data to get drastically different results, told me that even though he expects a fair amount of variability between algorithms, even he was surprised at how differently his company and 23andMe had interpreted my DNA data. He asked me to also upload my Ancestry data, and ran both data sets again after GenCove’s algorithm had been updated. The results were all over the map. “To be honest I’m a little confused about what’s going on,” CEO Joseph Pickrell told me.
Each testing company is looking at different alleles from different parts of the genome, and using different algorithms to crunch that data. (You can see a list of how company tests differ here.) It’s worth mentioning that genetics is also probabilistic: just because you have the gene, doesn’t mean you have the trait. “One British company identified an allele in me that gave me ginger hair, and 23andMe didn’t,” said Rutherford. “That’s a simple case where they just used different alleles. That’s relatively simple to explain.” And sometimes, the algorithms might just get it wrong. Rutherford told me his 23andMe test came back with a tiny amount of Native American DNA. The finding actually linked up with one anecdote from his family lore, about a relative of his father’s that was a Native American tribesman and horse jumper in a British traveling circus. “As a geneticist, I am absolutely convinced that they’re not related,” he told me. “It’s just statistical noise that happens to coincide with this cool story.” Statistically, it’s unlikely that such tiny amount of Native American DNA would have been enough to show up on Rutherford’s test.
A big problem is that many of us have a basic misunderstanding of what exactly we’re reading when Ancestry or 23andMe or National Geographic sends us colorful infographics about how British or Irish or Scandinavian we are. It’s not that the science is bad. It’s that it’s inherently imperfect, an estimation based on how much our DNA matches up with people in other places around the world, in a world where people have been mixing and matching and getting it on since the beginning of human history. “You’re creating different algorithms and you’re using different data sets as your reference points, so it makes sense that you’re going to get some different responses,” the Harvard geneticist Robert Green explained to me, as I tried to make sense of my own DNA data. “It’s not that one’s wrong and one’s right. It’s that there isn’t an agreed-upon approach to pick the right number of markers and combine them mathematically. Everyone is sort of just making it up as they go along.” At the continental level, said Kennett, ancestry testing is useful. It can tell you pretty reliably whether you are African or Asian or European. It can also reliably identify close familial relatives, as distant as third or fourth cousins. Otherwise, Kennett said, “take it with a large pinch of salt.”
Quote: It can tell you pretty reliably whether you are African or Asian or European.
That is a LIE: as shown by scientific analysis, Europeans and Mongols have AFRICAN DNA, so how could there be a difference except for the Albino mutations.
Our page: "The Nonsense of White Genes" gives indepth explanations and examples.
Nearly everyone I interviewed for this story said that, taken with the right mindset, ancestry DNA testing can be fun. As more people take DNA tests and company data sets grow, the results from those tests will also become more detailed and accurate. Anecdotally, I saw this in my own results. Ancestry has the biggest DNA database, and its interpretation of my DNA was also most in-line with what I expected. “The more people that take tests, the better the experience for all of us,” an Ancestry spokesman told me. “Your DNA does not change, our science does.” But consumer genetic testing companies have also fueled the misunderstanding of their products, suggesting that those colorful results reveal something profound about what makes you, you.
Take this AncestryDNA ad about Kyle Merker, who, the ads explains, grew up German, wearing a lederhosen and performing traditional German dances. Then an AncestryDNA test revealed he was actually Scottish and Irish. He bought a kilt. Ancestry.com is suggesting—quite heavy-handedly—that your DNA can define your identity. A few changes to those As, Gs, Ts, and Cs, and all of the sudden you’re river dancing. “Your culture is not your genes,” said Caulfield. “But the message these companies send is somehow where your genes are from matters. That’s not necessarily constructive. The role of genes in who we are is very complex. If anything, as genetic research moves forward we’re learning that it’s even more complex than we thought.” In truth, your specific ancestors actually have relatively little impact on your DNA. Some 99.99 percent of your DNA is identical to every other human’s. We’re mostly just all the same. But instead of embracing our genetic similarities, we cling to those differences as symbols of what makes us unique. Consumer DNA testing tends to reinforce that—even though the difference that one test reveals might not even exist in another. “These companies are asking people to pay for something that is at best trivial and at worst astrology,” said Rutherford. “The biggest lesson we can teach people is that DNA is probabilistic and not deterministic.”
Your DNA is only part of what determines who you are, even if the analysis of it is correct. Plenty of people love pasta, with or without Italian DNA. If the messaging of consumer DNA companies more accurately reflected the science, though, it might be a lot less compelling: Spit in a tube and find out where on the planet it’s statistically probable that you share ancestry with today. “These companies are asking people to pay for something that is at best trivial and at worst astrology.”
Learning he was Syrian did not seem to impact my grandfather’s identity as a Mexican man. And how could it? His life story was the story of so many children of immigrants. His father, Manuel, had swum the Rio Grande from Mexico to America in hopes of a better future. He worked as a waiter, and my great-grandmother as a seamstress. At age 10, my grandfather was sent to work at a Coca-Cola bottling plant to help the family make ends meet. He lost a finger. Eventually, he met my blonde-haired, blue-eyed grandmother and moved to California, hoping to raise their children somewhere it would matter less that one of their parents spoke Spanish as a first language.
But me, I don’t even look the part. I’m fair with blue eyes. As a kid, I remember wincing when my friend’s mom made xenophobic comments directed at Mexicans, never suspecting her daughter’s fair friend had some Mexican ties, even if they were not by blood but by heart. As an adult, I learned Arabic and perfected my tamale-making, all in search of some sort of an identity fit. When my grandfather was dying, I struggled with the relationship between DNA and cultural identity. I wondered what would become of my Mexican heritage, once my last living link to it was gone.
In the end, I finally found the same wisdom my grandfather never seemed to question. Sometimes your heritage doesn’t have anything at all to do with your genetics—and I didn’t even have to spit in a test tube to figure it out.
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