Evolution Theory
Before Darwin
Beyond Darwin
Synthesis I
Synthesis 2
Hominid Evolution
Origin of Culture
Brief Biblio
Expectations and Concerns of At-home DNA Tests
The Best DNA Tests for You
Discussion Board
The Best DNA Tests for You


It might be hard to find a person who at least hasn't heard of DNA testing or maybe has even done it. Long gone are days when genetic data was available only for people with access to sophisticated laboratories. Today anybody can order a home test and find out where they came from and who they really are at a very affordable price.

Modern DNA test will not only allow you to find out the migration routes of your ancestors and give you a totally different perspective about yourself, but might also reveal useful information about your health and likelihood of genetic diseases. Imagine knowing about the best supplements you should take, gluten tolerance level, risk of Alzheimer's, and even what percentage of Neanderthal you really are.

Here are some terms that you might encounter in your DNA report:

  • Y-DNA - it checks your father's side by analyzing Y chromosome.
  • mtDNA - mitochondrial test looks into your mother's side and goes very deep into your history.
  • Autosomal - 22 out of 23 pairs of chromosomes are checked from both sides.

When you shop for a DNA test, look at it as you do at most other products. Find out what is very important to you and compare various companies to get the best matching with your needs.

If you are only interested in your genealogical origins and tracing your family tree, consider going with MyHeritage or AncerstryDNA. Both of them have huge databases and millions of records, making tracing your origins easy. They also have millions of users, so you might find your long lost relatives or somebody you never knew about.

If your personal health and genetic disorders interest you more, choose Vitagene, 23andMe, or Orig3n. Besides 23andMe, the other two are not diving deep into your ancestral history, but focus on your health instead. Finally, if you are looking for a company that covers large geographical regions while researching you, go with GPSorigins - they look at over 900 geographic regions.

How to do the test

This applies to all the DNA testing companies. Once you receive an ordered kit, you will find instructions about the steps to take. All the kits require an entry of your personal information online, where you will see the results a few weeks later. The test itself is a couple of swabs inside your cheeks with included cotton swabs and sending them back in the sealed vial in the included envelopes. Some companies require a saliva sample.

1. MyHeritageDNA

They charge $60-$80 per DNA testing kit, do a nice job matching DNA, and can build a great family tree.

Customers like this one-stop platform that gives you accurate information, is very affordable, informative, and can be combined with a family tree. This is your one-stop place for finding everything about your ethnic makeup and your family's road to today.

MyHeritage works with over 42 world regions to get your information from and enables you to get access to billions of historical records for genealogical research.

MYHeritge has one of the biggest databases available tens of millions of users, which means that you can plug in your DNA and find out if it matches someone. You will learn a lot about yourself and might even find a new relative.

It takes a few weeks to get your results. You will get an ethnicity estimate, a full report on your DNA compositions across 42 ethnicities, and a list of DNA matches from the database. The results will be superimposed on the world map for easy understanding.

2. LivingDNA

The usual price is $160, discounted - $80. The company is working on a family matching feature, which will be available in the near future. This DNA kit is great for building a family tree.

LivingDNA is state-of-art technology use at work in addition to the usual family-line analysis you will also get the results of the maternal line too. Male customers get their paternal family-line checked. This type of service is not the norm in the industry, giving you deeper insight and understanding more about yourself. It is also more expensive than most competitors and takes longer to get results.

The results cover 10 generations and 80 regions of the world, so you will definitely be able to find your family's migration path through hundreds of years.

The results will arrive in about 12 weeks. You will receive an interactive color-coded map to visualize the timeline in your family's story across different ethnicities worldwide.

3. AncestryDNA

The cost is $100 + $20-$45 for access to genealogy records. With billions of database documents available, this kit is one of the most insightful.

Owned by Ancestry.com this DNA kit is one of the biggest players in the industry since 2012. Huge database in the key for finding lost relatives.

The DNA report scans over 350 regions of the world and gives you a very accurate ancestor migration path from the ancient times all the way to you. It will also tell you how much Neanderthal DNA you have.

You will have to send your saliva to AncestryDNA in a vial with a blue stabilizing liquid. Make sure not to eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum 30 minutes before the test. Log in online prior to sending your sample.

You will receive a map with colored pins to show you where your ancestors came from, an ethnicity estimate based on ethnicity regions, and your DNA matches.

4. 23andMe

It costs $100 to do a DNA test and $200 to get DNA and health profile. Customers enjoy trait reports and relative finder.

This industry newcomer not only looks at your genetic makeup, but offers a comprehensive analysis about your health and what problems you might expect down the road. Genetic traits provide such fun information as your preference for salty or sugary foods.

Genetic test focuses on your family's history, your ethnic mix, and what regions have you come from. It also includes a tool to find relatives online and aid in building a family tree.

Once you register your account and send your saliva sample to the company, the results will arrive in a few weeks. The report will include your family history, ethnic mix, and percentage of genes that match various world regions. Health report will also be included if you purchased it.

5. Vitagene

Price: $50 for health report, $80 for health report and ancestry, $150 for health, ancestry and smart supplements. All the packages will include trait report and relative finder tools.

This company does a lot more than just genetic testing. They also offer health screening and an opportunity to subscribe to a monthly supplement plan tailored just for you. This sets them apart from competition.

You will get your ethnicity report and a map across 25 regions and your ethnic percentage. Health part will recommend vitamins and fitness plans just for you. Trait check will include your body's gluten, alcohol, and lactose handling.

For the same price as others charge for just ancestry report, you will get a custom health report and supplement recommendations just for you. With all the added benefits you might not even miss the genealogy research documents and tree builders that are available at other companies.

Expect your results in 3-4 weeks after submitting.

6. Orig3n

Price: $80 for fitness and nutrition test, $47 for behavior test, $60 for run test, $60 for child development test.

The focus here is your body today and what makes it work best. You can find out many things about yourself with this company best foods, fitness regimens, skin care, child's health insights, and even your strength, brain capacity, and speed.

The results will be back in 2-4 weeks, making it the speediest in the industry.

7. GPS Origins

For $200 you can discover exactly where your gene pool is from because the company explores over 900 geographical regions, making the match as exact as it gets. No competitor comes close to this.

Besides the migration patterns, you can order skin and healthy weight tests to make a fitness plan that would work best for you.

The results might come back in as fast as 10 days and will be a joy to read, starting with color coded maps and ending with extra reading material to better understand what ethnic makeup really means for you.

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