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No, although a match does suggest you are related to members of that group in some degree. The DNA Fingerprint Test does not perform a percentage of admixture calculation. It is a statistical likelihood analysis based on actual allele (gene variation) frequencies scientifically estimated in hundreds of world population samples. Instead of giving continent-specific ethnic mix, the DNA Fingerprint Test measures a person’s genetic connections within populations, identifying the ethnic groups and countries where a person’s DNA profile is most common.
Will I be able to understand what the report says?
We hope so! Although there is some very technical information in the report, the “Analysis and Conclusion” section is always easy to understand. The names of populations are hyperlinked (shown here in blue), so you can click and go see pictures of people from that land in the encyclopedia. Here is a sample write-up:
Profile frequencies suggest the subject’s principal ancestries are Portuguese, Dutch, Polish/Hungarian, possibly Romani, or Gypsy, and Scottish with American Indian admixture. Suspected Romani may instead be Hungarian. The high rank of Finland supports Hungarian ancestry, as the Finno-Ugric and Hunnic peoples are related.
There appears to be no Eastern Asian or Sub-Saharan African ancestry, any apparent matches being due to accidental convergence. Eastern Asian matches result from shared deep ancestry with Native Americans.
Some of the Iberian matches can also be attributed to deep ancestry, as it is believed that Iberians on the Atlantic Coast such as the Basques were the leading colonizers of the British Isles following the last Ice Age (Oppenheimer).
Can the DNA Fingerprint Test provide information about my ancestors not available through traditional genealogy?
You bet! Genealogical research is limited by what records are available, how far they date back, how much time and energy you can commit to it, and the types of information people chose to record. Typically, genealogy concentrates on a handful of ancestors in the recent past. It cannot provide a complete picture of a person’s total genetic ancestry. DNA Fingerprint uses genetic material inherited from all one’s ancestors and lines of descent to provide a “big picture” view of genetic connections. One’s genetic ancestry can date back to the origins of populations hundreds or thousands of years ago and fill gaps left by traditional genealogy. Moreover, matches are expressed in the self-identifying labels actually used by living persons, not in genetic jargon or historical terms (e.g., Hispanic, Polish, Native American).
How does DNA Fingerprint Test differ from an admixture test?
Admixture tests estimate the contributions to a person’s DNA from several broad geographical groups, for instance, Eastern Asian, Southeast European and the like. Admixture tests assume a person is descended from a handful of prominent populations, such as Western Europeans and East Asians (something we often already know about ourselves and do not need to test). However, most people in the world are not descended from a mixture of Western Europeans, Eastern Asians, West Africans, and Central Americans. DNA Fingerprint analysis measures a person’s genetic connections to a wide variety of specific populations from all over the world according to matching profile frequency, for instance Berber, Northeast Amerindians or North India. It can thus provide information not available from other types of analysis. This information can also be combined with results from other DNA tests for a more thoroughly detailed picture of your genetic ancestry. The DNA Fingerprint Test is particularly recommended for persons of very mixed or exotic ancestry difficult to analyze and for those who are adopted and do not know their biological parents or ancestral origins.
Can I find out where in Europe my ancestors likely came from?
Yes. In addition to world matches in over 300 populations (which already include many European populations) you also receive your top matches from 22 populations within the European Union. Your list might look like this:
- Northern Ireland
As with world matches, these European matches are also interpreted for you in your report.
I know I am African with some Native American and some European ancestry. Will this test work for me?
Absolutely! Your African and Native American ancestry should be revealed in your Top Ten World Matches (and on your map), while you will be able to see the most likely places in Europe where your Caucasian admixture originated in the Top Ten European matches. You get a more complete picture of mixed ancestry than with any other test.
Do my results correspond to physical appearance?
Our analysis uses neutral genetic markers not associated with physical appearance. They are the same as the so-called CODIS markers used on TV police shows. The polymorphisms or alleles at our marker locations do not affect hair color, height, longevity, susceptibility to disease or any other biological factors. They are actually “junk DNA” without any function, but they do allow us to match our DNA with other populations where it occurs in great frequency and to make educated guesses about the origins and blends of our morphology (body shape) and phenotype (appearance). Nearly everyone has asked themselves the question at one time or another, “Why do I have the physical appearance I do, or physical resemblance to X?” DNA Fingerprint Test can suggest answers to such questions as that.
How does the test work?
First, your unique CODIS markers are determined by lab work. These are then fed into a large database called atDNA 2.0. A computer program then retrieves your top matches. These are arranged in order of most common population to least common population having your exact set of markers. The ranking process is called Random Match Probability.
What does my World Ancestry Map show?
The map that comes with your report has green, red and brown dots. Green indicates strong matches, brown, partial matches or ambiguous matches, and red, absence of matches. By studying the green clusters you can obtain an overview of where your main ancestry probably originated. The key is to pay close attention to clusters, not to isolated matches. Isolated matches can also be examples of [LINK:convergence (genetic):convergence], in which case they should be ignored. Dots placed “offshore” of Europe and Africa rather than situated in a country on the mainland stand for “diaspora” populations — specifically, emigration to America from the British Isles and movement of slaves from Africa to the New World.
What studies is DNA Fingerprint based on?
A list of more than 300 forensic studies containing the data behind your matches can be found in our references. The numbers in parenthesis beside your matches refer to this list. Studies were conducted on the basis of a population sample ranging between 100 and 200 subjects (i.e., a valid and representative sample for such purposes).
What is meant by “convergence”?
Convergence happens when your profile independently develops a high frequency in two seemingly unrelated populations. An example is having Korean, Japanese and Chinese matches when you know for certain you have no Asian ancestors. These Asian scores “converge” with Native American scores because of the shared deep ancestry of Asians and Native Americans, so you can safely interpret Asian matches as the equivalent of Native American matches. In other words, you would not have these Asian matches unless you had a rather high degree of Native American ancestry. Some isolated occurrences of convergence can, however, be purely accidental. All of these issues are evaluated in the Analysis and Conclusion part of your report.
Why are matches from India discounted in my report?
Indian matches are treated as anomalies, unless you have Gypsy (Romani) or true Sub-Continental Indian ancestry, in which case they are noted in passing. Gypsies originated in India. Indian matches will still appear on your map.
Indian matches “come and go” even between siblings and thus seem to be, in the end, mostly misleading. Nor does having a high number of matches as opposed to only a few appear to make any difference. The reasons are not completely understood. Iberian people have an average of 15% “South Asian” DNA whereas the Middle East (which lies adjacent to India) has less than 5%. So it does not seem that the markers being reported as “Indian” truly reflect population expansions and human migration movements. It may just be that a Balding Size Adjustment should be made to correct for outsized populations, since Indian populations are huge in comparison with others. Another factor is that India is “over-represented” in atDNA 2.0, with more than 21 populations in atDNA 2.0 300.
Iovita, Radee P. and Theodore G. Schurr, (2004), “Reconstructing the Origins and Migrations of Diasporic Populations: the Case of European Gypsies,” American Anthropologist 106/2:267-281.
Kashyap, V.K. et al. (2006). Genetic structure of Indian populations based on fifteen autosomal microsatellite loci. BMC Genetics 7: 28.
Kivisild T., Rootsi S., Metspalu M., Mastana S., Kaldma K., Parik J., Metspalu E., Adojaan M., Tolk H.V., Stepanov V., Golge M., Usanga E., Papiha S.S., Cinnioglu C., King R., Cavalli-Sforza L., Underhill P.A., Villems R.. The Genetic Heritage of the Earliest Settlers Persists Both in Indian Tribal and Caste Populations. American Journal of Human Genetics 72/2:313-32.
Mukherjee N., Nebel A., Oppenheim A., Majumder P.P. (2001). High-resolution analysis of Y-chromosomal polymorphisms reveals signatures of population movements from Central Asia and West Asia into India. Journal of Genetics 80/3:125-35.
Interestingly, the same thing sometimes happens with China and Japan. We have tested full-blood Indians and where you’d expect all their matches to be in India, 80% were non-Indian and more than half were European, showing the convergence creates an effect in the opposite direction, too.
Finally, it should be pointed out there are those who believe that Sub-continental Indian matches, while in some cases due to convergence, may also reflect the presence of South Asian passengers and crew aboard Portuguese, Dutch and British ships trading with both the East Indies and North America during the colonial era.
What is the time depth of the matches?
Usually, about 200-500 years, in other words, of historical significance. Sometimes, however, you are looking at populations from 5,000 years ago. For instance, Iberian matches may simply indicate that your British ancestors migrated from the Basque Country to the British Isles when northern Europe began to warm up after the last Ice Age. Nevertheless, you probably do have genetic cousins in northern Spain today because of this match.
Native American matches are both recent and deep. The reason is that Native American DNA is so different that once a contribution has been made to an ancestor's autosomal DNA (composed equally of mother and father's alleles) that signature lasts, and never goes away but can be detectable through population matches. Gypsy/Roma DNA acts in a similar fashion.
The opposite situation is finding, say, matches in Mexico and Colombia. Does this mean you have ancestry in those countries? Probably not, but it does mean that you have Iberian ancestry, since Mexico and Colombia were populated from Spain, and it may mean you also have American Indian. This will be interpreted for you in your report.
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