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National newspaper request

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National newspaper request

Postby rachelcocker1 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:43 am

Hello all,
I wonder if you can help. I'm writing a feature for the Telegraph about the boom in home DNA tests (such as Ancestry, 23andMe etc) after one led to my mother discovering a half-brother she didn't know existed.
I am looking for other British case studies who had similarly 'surprising' results - whether finding relatives they didn't know existed, discovering someone in their family wasn't who they thought they were, or tracing birth relatives after adoption.
Ideally they would be happy to be named and potentially pictured for a sensitive piece, but everything is up for discussion. I'm interested in both positive and negative experiences - and interesting perspectives on the things people might be wise to consider before going down this route.
If you think you can help or want to find out more, with absolutely no pressure to proceed any further, please do reply or send me a message, and I can send you my contact details.
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Re: National newspaper request

Postby HardWork » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:43 pm

Rachel, one thing that should be made clear, which is infrequently done in newspaper articles that I have seen about DNA, is that mitochondrial, Y (chromosome) DNA and autosomal tests are all different and have differing purposes. The companies you quote as examples only do autosomal testing as far as I am aware, which can be taken by either sex (as can mitochondrial). Y DNA only tests the continuous male line and so can only be done by males.

Though all DNA tests may generate surprises this is far more likely with autosomal testing, one reason being that they account by far for most testing done, but also because they generate more matches across different families (i.e they can reveal cousin matches and on average can include ancestry around 6 generations into the past), and also websites exist that enable cross matching from several companies' databases making it a powerful tool. The reason I mention all this is that Y DNA collection may well suffer as a result of testers declining any test after reading some of the more "horrific" anecdotes that are printed that are by far more likely to pertain to autosomal DNA testing than mitochondrial or Y testing.
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