If you’re thinking about getting a DNA test, then you clearly have questions…
Which DNA Test Should I Buy?
DNA Testing has taken the world by storm over the past few decades. In the 2000’s, DNA tests cost about $1,000, but now they’re a fraction of that price thanks to companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com, and CRI Genetics, who’ve brought at-home DNA test kits to your front door. A 30-second cheek swab and you’re gifted with ancestry and health insights that are so extensive they may seem like they’ve come straight out of a science fiction film. DNA testing has blown the door wide open when it comes to self-discovery, but with so many DNA test kits now on the market, how do you know which one to choose?
Here’s Your Ticket to Board the 21st Century Mayflower
A little over 400 years ago, in an English port known as Plymouth, 102 eager passengers hopped aboard a merchant ship known as the Mayflower. With hope in their hearts and the glorious tales of a new world etched into their minds, these passengers began their journey.
To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. -Henry David Thoreau, Walden Loneliness isn’t the condition of being alone, rather it’s the gap between someone’s desire for company, and reality. People living in remote locations may be perfectly content with their situation. Others might tell you that they’ve never felt more alone than when they were with the wrong person. So how do you explain why people can feel lonely? Genetics can help.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
With the fitting abbreviation “SAD”, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood cycle that usually begins in the autumn and lasts through winter. It usually means people feel down in the autumn and winter, and better in the spring and summer. The name refers to a change in “affect,” a psychology term meaning any experience of feeling or emotion. Not to be confused with “effect,” which describes a change that results when something happens.
Y-DNA and Tracing Your Father’s Ancestry: A Woman’s Guide to Paternal Lineage
Woah there, reader! Before you dive in… Here’s what you’ll learn about in this blog: Why women can’t take Y-DNA tests… unless? How Y-DNA tests work What a woman’s DNA test shows The mystery behind the female paternal haplogroup How YOU can discover your own paternal lineage One of the most thrilling parts about taking a DNA test is uncovering your ancestral lineage.
Beyond Halloween: 13 Awe-Inspiring Ways World Cultures Honor Their Ancestors
“When we know about our ancestors, when we sense them as living and as supporting us, then we feel connected to the genetic life-stream, and we draw strength and nourishment from this.” — Philip Carr-Gomm
CRI Genetics DNA Test Education: How does Ancestry DNA testing work?
I’m glad you asked.
Top 6 German Ancestry Surprises All Germans Should Know
If you have German ancestry, your DNA is rich with stories of migrations, successes, and tribulations. While the World Wars and Otto von Bismarck are certainly integral to recent German history, there’s a lot more to your story than just the last century and a half.
Top 5 Irish Ancestry Surprises All Irish Should Know
If you have Irish ancestry, you probably learned that from your parents, who learned it from their parents, who in turn, learned it from their parents… Okay, you get the idea.
CRI Genetics DNA Test Education: Top 3 Ancestry DNA Testing Myths
Prepare to have your mind blown.
CRI Genetics DNA Test Education: Just what is DNA anyway?
I’m glad you asked…
How Many Generations can a DNA Test Trace My Ancestry?
How Far Can a DNA Test Trace my Ancestry? How many generations can you trace YOUR family back?
27% of Americans Are Related to THIS Royal Figure…
Have you ever heard stories about your family’s famous ancestry?
Is Autism Genetic?
In the spring of 1846, a well-dressed man from Boston rode on horseback into a small village in Massachusetts. The man’s name was Samuel Gridley Howe, and he had set out on a special mission to create a scientific report on people who were deemed “intellectually incapacitated.” Howe ran a measuring tape around his subjects’ chests, used steel calipers to quantify the size of their skulls, and asked a great deal of questions relating to their behaviors.
Let's Talk Genetics: What is a Genetic Carrier?
What is a genetic carrier? Maybe you’ve heard the term before or perhaps it’s brand new. You may have even learned about it in school. But just like trigonometry or the War of 1812, it didn’t stick. Honestly, if genetics weren’t such a hot topic right now, maybe you’d be googling Billie Eilish or watching Facebook videos of cats falling off chairs instead of reading this article. But no. You’re here to learn.
The Language of DNA
DNA translation: Everyone speaks a language. Animals speak a language. Computers speak a language. Even your cells speak a language. And like any language, we need to understand the basic rules before we can read and write with it.
Curious Research Information: Who Are the Polish People?
Poland is an unusual place. People have been living in it for over ten thousand years, but we only have written records from the last thousand years. Basically, prior to the 10th century, almost nothing was written about Poland. Polish people are known for their resilience. They have battled extreme weather and famine. They have been caught between many warring nations. And yet they persist.
In our previous articles focused on evolution, we talked about the mechanics of evolution. Mix selective pressure, heritable characteristics, and large populations, and you get natural selection. But natural selection can lead to some unusual outcomes.
Curious Research Information: Is Judaism an Ethnicity, Religion, or Both?
Unlike other groups, being “Jewish” can mean different things, depending on who you ask. Some people view it as purely religious, and you are only Jewish if you practice the beliefs. Others see it as an ethnic group. Still others see it as a set of cultural beliefs and values. In this post, we’re going to treat it as all three, which means we will have to mention religious beliefs. We’ll try to remain objective throughout the post.
How Related Are You To Your Family? A Practical Examination of Statistics in Genetics
Have you ever wondered how you could possibly be related to your brother or sister? Well, good news. There’s a mathematical way to determine that! The same is also true for all of your relatives.
Quick! When I say mutations, what do you think of?
Curious Research Information: What Does It Mean To Be German?
When people today hear about the German people, they think about Germans from recent history. They may think of the East/West German split, World War 1 or 2, or Otto von Bismarck. But German history extends much further back than the last century and a half.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “carrier?” Do you think of an aircraft carrier? Maybe the helicarrier from the Avengers movie series?
Curious Research Information: Are Most Asian Men Descended from Genghis Khan?
Many Asian men like to claim heritage from Genghis Khan. This is a point of pride for these men, and it can get them some serious respect. After all, Genghis Khan conquered and ruled the largest empire the world has ever seen. The only other empires that can even compare were the Roman Empire and the Macedonian Empire. However, neither of these other empires was built in a single life time.
Genotype and Phenotype: What Is and What Could Be
Genetics is complicated. Anybody who studies genetics can tell you that. There are all sorts of specific terms and phrases that fly around the room. Spend enough time in a room full of geneticists, and it can feel like you’re taking a college exam.
How to Avoid DNA Testing Scams
In the past, it was easy to trick people into buying the Brooklyn Bridge. Just have some official-looking documentation and a suit, and people would buy whatever you had to sell. After all, everybody wants free stuff. That, or a get-rich-quick scheme.
The Basics of Evolution: It Really Shouldn’t Be Controversial
Depending on where you live, evolution can be seen as a controversial subject. But it shouldn’t be. Here’s why.
Curious Research Information: Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Your Genes?
Summer is a great time for many people. People from countries around the world like to take vacations in the summer, and many children are out of school during this time of year. The sun shines bright, and the days are long.
What is a gene? What is a genome?
A four letter-word should be really easy to define, right? After all, the dictionary definition is only about a sentence long.
Curious Research Information: Are You Really Irish?
Over one in ten Americans claim to have Irish heritage. In fact, more Americans claim to have Irish heritage (30 million) than they claim to have English heritage (24 million). Clearly, many people believe they have ancestral roots in Ireland.
The Chemistry of DNA
DNA is an abbreviation for “Deoxyribonucleic Acid.” The name alone means a lot to people with biochemistry Ph.D’s, but what does it really mean?
What is the Scientific Method?
If it’s been a while since you last attended science class, let’s do a brief refresher. Underlying all scientific research is a process commonly called the Scientific Method. The Scientific Method provides a framework for researchers to learn about the world in a factual way. We don’t have to guess where the sun goes at night, or where flies come from. We can find out.
How Much Does a DNA Test Cost and How Long Do They Take?
A common concern that often holds people back from learning more about their genetic makeup is the cost of a DNA test, especially when they haven’t looked at all of the options. There are differences between DNA tests, as there a different degrees of DNA testing and uses for the results.
What is Ethnicity?
With the concept of ancestry and DNA testing becoming consistently more popular, it’s important to know what the term ethnicity really means. Ethnicity can help you understand where you come from; finding your origins might mean finding a family that you never knew you had!
Is Alzheimer’s Genetic?
Though there are many reasons that people choose to participate in genetic testing, one of the common reasons for doing so is to uncover genetic predispositions to certain health conditions. As a result, many people have asked whether Alzheimer’s disease is genetic or not.
Is Jewish an Ethnicity?
To understand whether or not identifying as Jewish means that you are identifying with an ethnicity, you need to know the definition of ethnicity and what it means to belong to the Jewish culture.
Maternal Ancestry: Not Just For The Ladies
When we think about DNA, we automatically think of the DNA housed in the nucleus of our cells. This is the DNA inherited from our parents, half from mom and the other half from dad. The DNA in the nucleus codes for most of the proteins that bring about our traits, health, and development. As you noticed, most was italicized because DNA is actually found in two places within a cell: the nucleus and the mitochondrion.
Are Double Cousins Genetically Siblings?
Children and half siblings becoming more common, family trees can sometimes be quite complicated to understand. If your father has a half-brother (your uncle) who is younger than you, are his kids still your first cousins? Who are you for your sister’s step-children? What does first cousin once removed mean?
Is Baldness Inherited From Your Mother or Father?
One of the first things many people do in their daily morning routine is glance in the mirror hoping the reflection peering back resembles a human. For those sprouting a healthy mop of hair, this can take quite a while depending on the state of the mop and whether or not a comb can manage the ensuing tumbleweed or if a chainsaw is needed. This desire to fix our appearance and look presentable stems from the inherent need to attract mates of a similar or greater status. In fact, studies have shown that women are more attracted to men with a full head of hair as it is historically related to virility. However, since the nature of evolution focuses more on whether a trait affects fertility and ability to reproduce, baldness takes a back seat in the hierarchy of passed down through genetic advantages. Once a species reproduces nature doesn’t have a part to play, making male pattern baldness difficult to predict and even more of a priority for those fighting the seemingly hopeless balding battle. Male pattern baldness can start as early as the late teens and usually begins with the receding hairline and thinning on top of the scalp. Female pattern baldness rarely results in total hair loss and typically starts in the middle of the back of the head. So if nature does in fact take a back seat what exactly causes premature hair loss? Well, there are actually a few factors that affect the outcome of one’s head and whether or not the shiny scalp will emerge prematurely or if it remains a hairy secret well into the later years.
Can Females Trace Their Paternal Line?
Learning about your roots might trigger an incredible curiosity for your family’s history. And, while the breakdown of your biogeographical ancestry might have answered most of your questions, many more may arise.
How Do Ancestry DNA Kits Work?
The most common ancestry DNA kits available today are a strange mix of vague estimates and clear cut science. It is well known that everyone’s genetic code is a blueprint of who we are as people yet they are completely impossible to 100% make sense of simply because they rely on genetic markers to use as reference.
Who Are The Ashkenazi?
Genetics and history go hand in hand as two sides of a cryptic anthropological coin and your genetic makeup is the enigmatic roadmap of your family’s past, present and future. In fact, it is through genetics that we are able to evaluate mankind’s enduring saga throughout the ages, utilizing new information to adjust and improve life as we know it.
Do You Get Your Hair Genes From Mom Or Dad?
Your genetics are your body's blueprint. They determine how you look and how your body works from the start (then your lifestyle may take over). If you remember your biology lessons in high school, you may already know that you inherited 23 gene-carrying chromosomes from your mother and another 23 from your father. These chromosomes make up your genotype. How they get expressed, what you see in the mirror, is your phenotype.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Genetic Test
Every generation watches the world shrink a bit more as information becomes more and more accessible and globalization creeps into the new norm. Communication technology enables interaction on a worldwide scale and still we press forward into new territory seeking answers of the past in an attempt to pinpoint the cyclical and repetitive trends recurring in the future. With these goals in mind, a broad picture of the past is better painted when the brushes are detailed with exact precision starting at a cellular level. Yes, why we are the way we are stems from socio-economic influence, geographic location, linguistics and a myriad of other cultural impacts, however, not every hand molding the clay that shapes us is external. Our genetic code provides physical, psychological, and emotional traits intrinsic to our being and untouchable.
DNA Testing for Ethnicity
The cost of at home DNA testing has considerably decreased as various technology advances and new discoveries in genetics are made. Starting at roughly $79, you can now join hundreds of others in piecing together the puzzle of you and your family’s ethnic past. Despite the lower price points, not all is well that decreases well and the three main companies, Ancestry.com, 23andMe and FamilyTree DNA, each claim to excel in slightly differing niches within the industry at variating prices. First and foremost, ancestry and the unequivocally enduring mystery of one’s ancient origination is one of the biggest appeals to pulling the trigger and purchasing a DNA test. Families have discovered long lost cousins, stalwart patriots have realized their nationalism a false pretense and college coeds have noticed they qualified for scholarships seeped in affirmative action, ensuing in a celebratory splurge on microwavable chicken ramen. With the newfound affordability of DNA tests capable of displaying your familial history, the ripe question “which one to pick and at what cost” comes to fruit. An important note to keep in mind is the fact that every ancestry database is different and as the reference point for genetic markers, will lead to different data. Determining ethnicity off of a human’s genetic makeup is not a mathematical equation with black and white answers. Before we plunge into the knit and grit of this process that uncovers ancestral mysteries while sometimes adding more, let’s pinpoint the definition of ethnicity itself.