Find Out What You're Made of With a DNA Test Kit [Featured Video]
Sure, that woman in the video appears to be Caucasian. But does that adjective encompass who she truly is? Would you limit yourself to such a simple definition?
If we’re told not to judge a book by its cover nor a person by the color of their skin, why would we place this woman in a box constructed by a word? There’s so much more to her—and to us—than meets the eye.
Our history—our parents, grandparents and great grandparents—make us who we are; their stories, their journeys and their experiences are pieces of our history.
We used to find out about our background by speaking to genealogists, people who knew extensive amounts of history. Some people had more documented information and some had less, however the outcome was often inconsistent. Now there’s an easier way to tap into that history. It’s called a DNA testing kit.
How Does a DNA Kit Actually Work?
Providing your DNA isn’t invasive at all. Just a simple swab or spit is enough to learn more about yourself. You’d be surprised that such a small donation of your DNA could provide so much detail.
The biggest player in the field of DNA testing, ancestry.com, offers a feature called Genetic Communities that allows you to find specific groups of people you’re related to, where those groups are from and migration paths they followed. For example, not only can you find out that you’re part African, but Genetic Communities might say you’re from Africa's Southeastern Bantu region, or Senegal or Mali. Ancestry.com continues to expand this feature every day.
MyHeritage, another major DNA player, has a similar feature called Ethnicity Estimate which gives a percentage-based measure of one’s origins from more than 40 ethnic roots. Imagine finding out that you’re 22% Native American or 13% Asian.
LivingDNA, another major testing kit provider, claims to offer twice the DNA details of any other company, and boasts being the only provider to offer a 3-in-1 test, including your maternal line and paternal line, if you're male.
Not only does our ancestral history make up who we really are, but it makes the world feel smaller, drawing us closer to one another. Knowing that we came from people of strength and resilience is motivating. Perhaps when we realize that we’re links in a chain that spans the globe, we get a greater sense of identity, which in turn helps us better relate to the world around us. Whatever the reason, the value that a DNA testing kit provides is unquantifiable.
If you’d like to quantify it, though, these kits cost less than you might think. Ancestry.com is currently offering a promotion of $99 for a DNA kit, and Myheritage is currently offering one for $79. All you have to do is purchase the kit, send in your DNA sample and relax until the test results return in 6-8 weeks. The question now shifts from, “Is it worth it?” to “Is it worth waiting for?”
We’re in the middle of living our own personal journeys and by learning about our past we can further appreciate the present. We’re products of history. See what you’re made of with a DNA kit.