DNA Testing | Are You Interested?

Have you considered doing a DNA test? We both had our DNA tested in 2014 by 23andMe. The 23andMe results were interesting. We have thorough genealogy records for most of our family lines going back many generations. We knew what to expect from our DNA results.

My last name is derived from a variation of Raudenbusch near Stuttgart Germany. They came to Philadelphia in 1732 according to the ship manifest. The name was changed after a generation to avoid confusion with other Raudenbusch families who lived nearby. The French & German part of the chart below from 23andMe confirms that information.

They married into family lines that were British & Irish, my most recent ancestors in the timeline chart. The results also showed distant generations from Africa making up a very small part of my DNA. My records show distant relatives on my mother’s side from South Carolina who owned slaves in the late 1700s. The genetic link from 23andMe isn’t a surprise.

The Process

The 23andMe process was simple. A saliva sample was collected into a plastic vial from the kit. It was mailed to the testing company. We received an email soon after they received it telling us it had arrived. When testing was finished, an email told us how to set up our accounts to log-in and view results.

Results are categorized on the we site into the following areas. The numbers after each state how many reports are available to view based on my analysis. Those numbers might vary per person. The areas are accompanied by charts and explanations on the web site. Most are reasonably simple. I can delve more deeply into the science by following links provided on the web site.

Ancestry – 5 reports of my ancestry as 86% British-Irish. That agreed with my records.

Carrier Status – 42 tests for genetic variants Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell, etc. None detected.

Genetic Health Risk – 6 tests for variants that might cause me future concern such as Parkinson’s, Macular Degeneration, Late Onset Alzheimers, etc. None had high probability.

Traits – 22 tests such as bald pattern, back hair, taste sweet salty or sour, dimples, eye color, skin pigment, finger lengths, etc. No surprises.

Wellness – 8 tests state how my diet and lifestyle might interact with my DNA. Does my weight tend average, caffeine effects, alcohol response, sleep patterns, etc.

DNA Relatives – 1199 people share a small % of DNA in common with me. A few are as close as second cousins. Most are third and fourth cousins or more distant.

Share and Compare – 3 the number people with whom I’ve chosen to share more details.

Research – 31 scientific surveys conducted by non-23andMe companies. I volunteered to answer questions so they can study how my DNA is correlated to other factors of health and cognitive performance. These are all voluntary and anonymous.

Concerns

Some people are concerned about whether they want to know about results of genetic tests. What if I am a carrier of a trait? Will I pass it along to my children? Am I likely to develop a genetic disease when I am older? Do I want to know?

The company understands those concerns. Before choosing whether to go ahead, you can read about the concerns starting with this link to the site. Results of tests are not a conclusive diagnosis. Results can and should be discussed with your doctor.

Behind The DNA Tests

I love science and follow people who make it fun and interesting. Destin Sandlin is one of those people. He has a YouTube channel called Smarter Every Day. He posts the most amazing videos testing the science of a wide range of topics and events. In a recent video, Destin and his wife wanted to know more about the testing laboratories used by 23andMe. They had concerns like anyone else. They contacted 23andMe for permission to record and ask questions and were given full access. Many questions you might have about DNA testing are answered by this video.

 

I hope this post helps you decide whether to go ahead with genetic testing. There are several good companies from which to choose. They each offer their own unique set of results. Here is a list of many from Wikipedia. Here is a review of three of the most popular ones.

11 thoughts on “DNA Testing | Are You Interested?

  1. Thanks! A few years ago my brother had his DNA tested. I don’t remember which company but the results were not as clear or as extensive as these, and part of the deal was that I would have my DNA tested by a different company and share the results with him, but I wasn’t really sure where to start. So this info will be helpful to me.

    • Good. We are both satisfied with the quality of results from 23andMe. They update the content of our results as they develop new tests and analysis. When we first took part, they didn’t do the health aspects of carriers and such. They added that later.

  2. DNA analysis is very interesting to me and I’m tempted to do it for Mollie and me. I appreciate your post!
    I’m curious about the 1199 “DNA relatives” category: considering the privacy issue, is this the result of your own collaboration with relatives, or is it merely a number? Does 23andMe do the collaboration for you and your relatives? Do they facilitate contacts with relatives you might not know about?

    • Hi, Jim. The DNA relatives is a number 23andme gives you. It represents the immediate through more distant relatives they can identify with the DNA. There is a contact system that is provided, so relatives can get in touch with each other. However you don’t need to be in it, so your info can remain private and no one can contact you.

  3. Interesting and thanks for sharing. I’ve thought about it a little, but I’m still on the “don’t want to know” side of the fence.

  4. Mollie and I have sent our samples for the full deal. Now that we’ve done it, I’m hoping for results sooner than the 6 to 8 weeks predicted. I note that it’s optional to view information relative to Parkinson’s and late-onset Alzheimer’s traits and we may decide not to view those. One of our sons has opted in as well.

    • I hope you will find the results to be interesting for you both. When we sent our samples, the company was not offering medical information. We reviewed our results a number of times and answered many of the surveys designed to further some research. Several months went by before we revisited the site. We found they had added the medical results to our findings. I’m glad to say neither of us had issues to worry about. It was interesting to see what they looked for.

  5. Very interesting. The geneology part would be good to know but the health part… That could be scary. Even though I am in good health and take no medications knowing what you “could” have in the future could cause some paranoia…

I'd like to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.