The rise of direct-to-consumer DNA testing has been revolutionary, to say the least. Today, people can quickly get their DNA tested for a wealth of information.
One of the most common uses of DNA testing is in uncovering family genealogy. Using consumer DNA testing services, individuals can now uncover their family lines going back several generations. One can identify his or her racial makeup, familial ties, and geographical background.
There are many online services offering DNA testing for ancestry purposes, including leaders AncestryDNA, Family TreeDNA, and 23andme. For a quick overview & comparison of each test, check out MyFamilyDNATest.com.
Once you receive your DNA test results, analyzing the raw data can be difficult unless you are a bit of a genetic expert. To help people make sense of the data from their genealogical DNA tests, several tools have been developed.
Below, we take a quick look at 4 of the most popular tools to use for gleaning more information from your personal DNA data.
DNAGED.com is one of the easiest platforms to use for obtaining personalized, rich reports on your DNA test results.
The site allows you to download DNA data and files from 23andme and Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).
The goal of the platform is to help create meaningful links between raw DNA test data and your family trees. In short, you get more in-depth information from your DNA test regarding your family history and background.
Another popular DNA analysis platform, GEDMatch, allows you to upload raw data from three DNA testing services; AncestryDNA, FTDNA, and 23andme.
Using GEDMatch.com, you can:
- Check for DNA matches with other people who have used different DNA testing services.
- Perform triangulation. This is a process of comparing your DNA with that of known family members to determine how you are related.
- Determine exactly how much DNA you share with your matches.
- Learn about your ancestry composition (image). You can check whether you have Native American or European ancestry.
- Check whether two people are related, for example, your parents.
- Determine family connections as far back as possible by carrying out X-chromosome comparisons.
For instructions on how to upload your data, GEDMatch.com provides an excellent tutorial.
On PROMETHEASE.com, you can upload your raw DNA data directly from your computer or import it from 23andme. The platform also accepts uploaded data in many formats from most DNA testing services including FTDNA and AncestryDNA.
The analysis takes around 15 minutes, after which you will receive a personalized report that summarizes the important details of the data and directs you to the scientific literature to learn more.
The report provides genealogical details to help you learn more about your ancestry and health information regarding your genetic risks for certain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.
One analysis costs $5.
It is important to note that Promethease.com uses information from SNPedia to analyze DNA data and create reports. SNPedia is a wiki on human genetics.
Interpretome is a free DNA analysis tool created by genetic experts from Stanford University. Unlike most other analysis platforms, it only supports data files from Lumigenix and 23andme.
Though the report will contain genealogy information, it is a bit scarce when it comes to details concerning genetic health risks.
One of the more exciting tools you will find useful is the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) package. Using this tool, you can get your genome analyzed to determine your global ancestry. The result is displayed in the form of a position on a global map.
Using another tool, you can also check how much of your genome is inherited from the Neanderthal man.
Something important to note is that all computations are performed on your computer browser and no personal data is sent to any server.
Compatible browsers include the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.
Human genetics is a field that continues to grow every day. There are still a lot of things experts have yet to figure out.
As a result, it is recommended that you take your DNA tests report with caution, especially when it comes to health information.
But for those looking to recreate their family lines, the above tools will prove to be very useful. They will be invaluable in filling in missing blanks and stretching your ancestry knowledge further back than you ever expected.