How does Legal DNA Testing Ancestry Testing work?
First, what is DNA? All living things including humans are made up of cells. Several different kinds of cells make up the human body, such as blood cells, skin cells, buccal cells (inside mouth), muscle cells, fat cells and many more.
With the exception of red blood cells, most cells in the human body have a nucleus. It doesn’t matter what kind of cells they are, the nucleus contains chromosomes. Chromosomes are where hereditary information is stored. All chromosomes are made up of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which is a blueprint that holds the information code for all of the genetic information for that individual. All DNA, much like fingerprints, are totally unique to that human being or other living organism.
With the exception of the egg and sperm cell, all of the cells in our body contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, 46 in total. One chromosome from the pair is inherited from our mother and the other one is passed down from our father. Both males and females have 23 pairs of chromosomes. However, in males, the 23rd pair consists of an X-Chromosome and a Y-Chromosome, whereas females have two X-Chromosomes. The Y-Chromosome is special because it carries ancestral information regarding a male’s paternal line.
Aside from identical twins, no two people hold the exact same genetic code, but males with the same male lineage (father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc.), will share the same, or very close to same genetic code in their Y-chromosome. Men with the same fathers but different mothers for instance, will share the exact same Y-chromosome, but men with different fathers and the same mother, will not. Additionally, since a male inherits his Y-Chromosome directly from his father, the Y-Chromosome that a male receives from his father is very special because it holds a lot of valuable information about his ancestry. This is because the Y-Chromosome is passed down along the male line, relatively unchanged from generation to generation. A forefather will pass his Y-Chromosome down to all of his sons, and they will then pass it down to all of their sons, and so on throughout the generations along the male line. Thus, males who are descendants of the same line will have the same or nearly the same Y-Chromosomes.
When a Y-Chromosome genealogy test is performed, Hypervariable regions are areas within the Y-Chromosome that may differ greatly between different family lines. The type of hypervariable region which is studied in Y-Chromosome testing is called STR markers (stands for “Short Tandem Repeat” markers). STR markers are regions of the Y-Chromosome where small chunks of the DNA are repeated over and over again. The number of times that these small chunks of DNA repeat themselves in the Y-Chromosome is variable amongst different family lines.
When Legal DNA Testing performs ancestry testing, the AABB accredited laboratory examines specific regions (markers) along the Y-Chromosome called “hypervariable” regions. The lab will then check the hypervariable regions that are unique to family lineage.
In short, Legal DNA Testing makes it quick, easy and affordable to get a DNA ancestry test, make arrangements for an in home test kit to be sent out to you today.