Have you ever wondered about the “story of you”? That unique tale that explains exactly how you came to be and what your unique genetic composition means in the grand scheme of things. We’re not trying to get philosophical, but almost everyone has pondered this question either in-depth or even in passing. Maybe you’re curious about more than just how your family came to be living in wherever you call home today. Maybe you want to dig deeper and find out why you always get an upset stomach when you eat zucchini or why everyone in your family seems to be lactose intolerant. Lucky for you, you can put an end to the pondering with 23andMe.
Answering the who in “who are you”
The concept of ancestry tests isn’t necessarily new, but more and more people are embracing the idea of really understanding the nuances of their familial history. For example, maybe you spent your whole life thinking you were German, only to find that there’s a lot of English and Swedish in the family tree as well. And likewise, for others, it’s being able to pinpoint exactly where in the world their ancestors began their journey.
Getting granular with haplogroups
Not that we’re trying to get too technical, but 23andMe goes beyond giving you a “general” idea of where your ancestors were based but further divides your results by specific ethnic groups. They also can help pinpoint actual haplogroups. A haplogroup is a specific subset of people that have a shared ancestor that can be traced through the Y chromosome. So, for women who are using 23andMe, haplogroups can only be identified if you find links to other male relatives through the testing process.
Which parent do you take after?
If someone has ever told you that you’re just like your father or mother, 23andMe can break that down and give you the specifics. We often assume that children inherit an exact 50-50 split of genetic material from their parents, but that’s not always true—especially when you filter for ethnic ancestry. So, with this genetic test, you can see exactly how much of an ethnic group was passed down to you from each parent.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can also opt-in to the DNA Relatives feature. This allows you to reach out to people that show up as shared DNA relatives on your report. Of course, they (and you) have the option not to respond to these notes. But it’s a great way to grow your family tree.
23andMe for health
One of the main things that make 23andMe different from traditional DNA testing platforms is that they also offer the option to learn more about your overall health and potential genetic conditions you might be predisposed to carry such as Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. A bonus is that you can also learn how your genes can impact your wellness. This comprehensive report is an add-on option to the standard DNA ancestry test and doesn’t require any additional samples to complete. While the 23andMe health analysis shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a thorough diagnosis by your physician or healthcare professional, it’s a great starting point to understanding your genes and prioritizing your health.