For those of you wishing to take advantage of holiday bargains to further your research, there are a number of companies are offering products at reduced prices for Thanksgiving/”Black Friday” holiday.
FindMyPast DNA Black Friday Sale – DNA kits $59 each plus 14 days of free access to Findmypast’s entire archive of more than 9 billion records and historical newspapers. Offer ends midnight (GMT) Monday, Nov. 26th
Source: Exploring Life Mysteries access November 16, 2018
Note: To sustain this free service to you the reader, Exploring Life Mysteries the author offers the following notification, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.
African American Genealogy DNA does not receive commissions via any link and does not favor any DNA testing company over another. We offer the information to help you make an informed decision.
Can a little spit really tell you that you’ve got some Albert Einstein in your DNA or that your ancestors migrated from the Middle East 2,000 years ago?
Surely, you’ve heard about the craze over at-home DNA tests. Interested in digging deeper into your family heritage? Want to know what test to take? DNA testing is easier and more affordable than you might think and can lead to amazing revelations about who you are.
What Can I Learn From A DNA Test?
We often get asked which test is best for revealing what type of information. Every DNA testing company has its own unique strengths and thus the results are better for certain types of data.
DNA Ancestry Test
When you hear about your friend doing a DNA test at home, there is a good chance that they are talking about an ancestry test. DNA testing for ancestry is growing in popularity as more and more people want to know about their family history. A DNA ethnicity test can help you discover your ethnic origins from around the world. DNA testing for genealogy can help you identify your ancestors and living relatives (from a parent to distant cousins). An ancestral DNA test may also inspire you to dig in deeper to your family tree with genealogical research.
DNA Paternity Test
Historically one of the more common types of DNA tests, a paternity test determines the biological link between a father and child. There’s even a non-invasive prenatal paternity test available now. Read our Paternity Test Comparison for the scoop.
DNA Health Testing
At-home DNA testing for most medical and health-related purposes is still in its infancy, but scientists are making advances every day. Always consult your physician before doing one of these types of tests and ask lots of questions.
Genetic Testing For Cancer Risk
Some people have a higher risk of developing specific types of cancers that tend to run in the family. In these cases, a physician may test your DNA to look for gene mutations that could indicate a higher risk. One of the better-known examples is testing for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (breast cancer genes) in women whose mother and sister have had breast cancer.
Genetic Testing For Carrier Status
Want to start a family, but you’re worried you may pass on an unwanted risk to your child? Some DNA tests can tell you if you’re a carrier for certain inherited conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia or hereditary hearing loss. A positive match doesn’t mean your child will inherit the condition; it just lets you know whether you carry the gene.
Not all DNA tests are the same. A carrier status DNA test, for example, focuses on the specific markers known to be associated with certain inherited conditions. On the other hand, DNA genealogy tests focus on specific markers related to our ancestry.
The cost varies by the company and the type of kit you choose but most range from $39 to $300+ and some offer free shipping. (Prenatal paternity tests can be $1,000 or more). After the one-time fee to have your DNA analyzed, you have access to your DNA records forever without paying a monthly fee.
The prices of the tests vary greatly because of the different features each offers. For example, some test for more than one type of DNA, which means the test may be more accurate or detailed than others.
The cost of DNA tests is the same regardless of where you live. So that means that someone in the United States pays the same as someone in Nigeria for the same test.
Often our top-ranked ancestry DNA companies (see below) will offer special discounts and promotions, and we do our best to keep this page updated when those sales happen. You can find these coupons in the review sections below for each specific company.
Advanced Genealogical Research & Identifying Relatives
Disease Risk Screening & General Ancestry
Ancient African Ancestry
Early Migratory Patterns
Adding DNA to Your Online Family Tree
Ethnic Geographical Regions
How Does At-Home DNA Testing Work?
Step 1: Order Your Kit
Order your kit online from anywhere in the world (see below for our top picks). It takes about a week to receive the kit. The package should arrive sealed so you are certain it has not been tampered with.
Step 2: Set Up Your Online Profile
You’ll need to activate your kit online using a unique code provided to you. This connects your name and contact details to your sample so you can track progress as it’s tested and later view results. You’ll most likely sign a consent form and agree to the company’s legal terms and conditions before getting started.
Step 3: Provide A DNA Sample
Now for the fun part — providing your DNA sample! Most tests offer cheek swab tests. AncestryDNA, 23andMe and NatGeo Geno 2.0 tests require you to spit in a vial.
Either way, they recommend not eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum or teeth brushing at least one hour before to ensure a good sample. Also wash your hands before opening the test tubes to ensure a clean sample.
Step 4: Seal & Ship Your Sample
Once your samples are complete and ready to go, seal the samples in the specimen bag, place them in the provided mailing envelope, and drop the it in your mailbox for delivery. Don’t forget to make sure your unique ID is on each sample so the labs have a way to track it back to your profile.
Step 5: Wait For Analysis
In an age where we can get most things instantly, you might be anxious to get results right away. But, how long does a DNA test take to come back? Given the complexity of the process of analyzing your DNA and comparing your results to other samples, expect to wait anywhere from 4-10 weeks depending on the company.
Step 6: View & Share Your Results
To access your results, sign in to the online portal using the login you created when you activated your kit (results will not be mailed to you for privacy reasons). Once logged in, you can view and analyze your DNA in more detail using the provided percentages, maps and more depending on which kit you chose.
2018 Best DNA Test Winners
We chose our best DNA test for 2018 based on a number of factors, including the types of tests they offer, DNA database size, the extent of ancestry information you can find from each test, cost, genealogy research tools and more. If you need to brush up on DNA and ancestry-related terms, jump to our DNA terminology section.
When the DNA results are not what was expected… The question came in again this past week, as it has so many times in recent years. A genealogist had asked others in the family to test to further the genealogist’s own research. When the results came in, well, they…
April 28, 2018 We now have facility to allow users to delete their registration/profile and associated DNA and GEDCOM resources. If you are interested in how to use this facility Click here to find more information.
Deletion of Registration/Profile
We now have a facility to allow a user to delete their Profile/Registration along with all of their DNA resources (ie kits they have uploaded), GEDCOM resources (ie family trees) AND their login profile (ie user login) from the current database used by http://www.gedmatch.com
This deletion will be permanate and cannot be undone.
You can access this facility under the “Your Log-in Profile” section with the link “View/Change/Delete your profile (password, email, groups)”.
Click on the right tab labeled “Profile/Registration Deletion”.
You will see DNA and GEDCOM resources and a place to verify your password at the bottom of the page.
The next page is the final warning where you can click the delete button.
You will then see DNA and GEDCOM resources as they are deleted – you can then click continue and will be logged out and directed to the login page.
At this point your Profile/Registration and all resources are either deleted or scheduled for deletion.
April 27, 2018 To correct a BIG misunderstanding, we do not show any person’s DNA on GEDmatch. We only show manipulations of data such as DNA matches
April 27, 2018 We understand that the GEDmatch database was used to help identify the Golden State Killer. Although we were not approached by law enforcement or anyone else about this case or about the DNA, it has always been GEDmatch�s policy to inform users that the database could be used for other uses, as set forth in the Site Policy ( linked to the login page and https://www.gedmatch.com/policy.php). While the database was created for genealogical research, it is important that GEDmatch participants understand the possible uses of their DNA, including identification of relatives that have committed crimes or were victims of crimes. If you are concerned about non-genealogical uses of your DNA, you should not upload your DNA to the database and/or you should remove DNA that has already been uploaded.
It is amazing to me the number of genealogists who have stepped forward with some position and lack of confidence in Gedmatch. I do not subscribe to that line of thinking. What the media is not sharing is the platform used by Gedmatch to assist Law Enforcement. The application was built by Gedmatch and to be upfront, many testing companies were asked to help. Gedmatch is a very small company compared to FTDNS, 23andMe, and Ancestry.
Forensic genetic genealogist looked at the data provided by Gedmatch using a different Gedmatch tool. They found matches and used an interpretive pedigree process to isolate a potential suspect. Next was the collection of information to verify their conclusions.
This tool has nothing to do with the database housed on Gedmatch. At this point, I need to say I am reviewing the process. I still support Gedmatch, without the tools, it offers I would not have located and or discovered so many many relatives. Genetic or ancestors or distance cousins.
The errors and omissions set the stage for misunderstanding by news outlets and those in the genetic genealogy field of study for reasons abundant. To get noticed, recognized, accolades, see me.
The truth, Gedmatch provided no names but the data, it was Law Enforcement responsibility to determine the usefulness of the data. Once the determination was made and data numbers isolated, they could get a warrant to get the information release. They had a sample as a point of reference, not some random look in Gedmatch database. Do not believe all that you read, I can for once say “false news or fake news”. Ask questions before you leap to conclusions, be a true genealogist or genetic genealogist and follow investigative protocol.
Access: The New York Times and The Times of Israel Jan. 25, 2018
This article changes a lot of our current genetic beliefs. It is my opinion, that the new data may verify my thoughts of what happened to the very first known haplogroup L0(A haplogroup is a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor on the patriline or the matriline. Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet, and refinements consist of additional number and letter combinations.) Dec 28, 2017
I have often written extensively about the Adams and Eves that existed long ago. Often getting negative reactions, silent and challenges to my beliefs. Interest in scientific, anthropological findings clearly researched and shared with other professionals worldwide. Again, I ask that you the reader keep an open mind. Just as anything else in this world, things change as we continue to dig and discover using the best anthropological and genetic tools available. It will be years before we can say for sure, that this is the missing L0 group who are the original men and women of Africa. For sure they are apart of the L0-L6 haplogroup of men and women of Africa. These groups migrated out of Africa over a long period of time, developing mutations such as skin, eye and hair color.
*All DNA testing companies have always used a Eurasian model with there algorithms. It is like a plague to use Africans in their models, which is a bias towards one group as opposed to an another. There are models that take into account African populations with significant results. ( dnatestedafrican.org) strongly suggest a full sequence maternal test if you can afford it or the next lowest which is 67 markers. Testing below YDNA 111 markers paternal is not worth your money but if you can at least test at 67 markers that is great. I do not challenge religious biblical ideology. That is an area that I have no expertise.
A jawbone found in a cave in Israel’s Mount Carmel region has reset the clock on human evolution.
The fossil, the earliest known record of Homo sapiens outside of Africa, was discovered in 2002 during an excavation of the prehistoric Misliya Cave. After 15 years of intensive research by an international team of multidisciplinary scientists, the unique remains of an adult upper jawbone, complete with several teeth, has been dated to 170,000-200,000 years ago.
“This has changed the whole concept of modern human evolution,” said Prof. Israel Hershkovitz of the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. The research was published Thursday in the prestigious Science magazine.
Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Israel Hershkovitz (left) and University of Haifa’s Prof. Mina Weinstein-Evron. (courtesy)
Based on fossils found in Ethiopia, for the past 50 years scientists have believed that modern humans appeared in Africa, the “cradle of humanity,” roughly 160,000-200,000 years ago. The earliest record of migration outside of Africa was dated to around 90,000-120,000 years ago, through fossils discovered at digs in Israel’s Skhul and Qafzeh caves almost 90 years ago.
With this Misliya cave jawbone, however, the history of human evolution is being rewritten.
“The entire narrative of the evolution of Homo sapiens must be pushed back by at least 100,000-200,000 years,” said Hershkovitz, the head of the Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research at TAU’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.
The Misliya fossil not only resets the date for Homo sapien evolution and migration, but also spurs the mind-blowing implication that modern humanity did not evolve independently but rather alongside — and intermingled with — many other hominin groups, such as Neanderthals, he said.
The 177,000 to 194,000-year-old maxilla (upper jaw) of Misliya-1 hominin (Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University)
The dating of a modern human fossil to 200,000 years ago “implies that the biological history of our species must be pushed back to half a million years ago,” Hershkovitz told The Times of Israel on Thursday. “It implies that our species didn’t evolve in isolation… The species was involved with a very long interaction with other groups.”
“Our species,” said Hershkovitz, “is a genetic mishmash of several hominins.”
Archaeological findings from the cave support this “mishmash” theory by providing an even earlier sedimentary-layered context for modern human settlement — by about 50,000 years. Therefore, modern human settlement in Israel could arguably be dated to even 250,000 years ago.
According to University of Haifa archaeologist Prof. Mina Weinstein-Evron of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, “Miss Lia,” as she fancifully calls the fossil from the Misliya site, was discovered in a layer well after the indications of first modern human settlement there. (There is no way to ascertain the gender of the fossil.)
Speaking with The Times of Israel just hours after the press announcement of the revolutionary find, Weinstein-Evron reminisced that when she and Hershkovitz first drew up plans ahead of commencing the joint dig in 2001, their stated (modest) goal was to look for the origins of the modern Homo sapiens. With the discovery of “Miss Lia” in the Mount Carmel region, which is rife with indications of paleolithic settlement, she said, “we have found something even more surprising.”
Typical Early Middle Paleolithic flint points found together with Misliya 1 (Mina Weinstein Evron, University of Haifa)
During 10 years of excavations, along with the jawbone, the team uncovered some 60,000 flint tools, which span the human history of development from chunky primitive hand axes to purposefully knapped, lightweight, technologically advanced projectiles and thin knives.
“The new zooarchaeological data from Misliya Cave, particularly the abundance of meat-bearing limb bones displaying filleting cut marks and the acquisition of prime-age prey, demonstrate that early Middle Paleolithic people possessed developed hunting capabilities. Thus, modern large-game hunting, carcass transport, and meat-processing behaviors were already established in the Levant in the early Middle Paleolithic, more than 200,000 years ago,” according to a 2007 Journal of Human Evolution study from the dig.
“They had a delicatessen in the cave,” said Weinstein-Evron, who listed auroch and other deer steaks, hares, ostrich eggs and wild boars as among the foodstuffs found in the caves. “They supped on ham and eggs,” she joked.
Likewise, said Weinstein-Evron, the team discovered the world’s first signs of the use of organic padding for the settlers’ seats next to the communal hearth.
Misliya cave, where a jawbone complete with teeth was recently discovered dating to 177,000-194,000 years ago. (Mina Weinstein-Evron, University of Haifa)
In addition to the genetic analysis of the bone, archaeological findings confirmed that Homo sapiens “lived in parallel with other types of humans a lot longer than thought,” she said. Fossil records have indicated that Homo sapiens are a very diverse group. Now, she said, it is much more likely that the species is made up of a mix of hominin groups.
“We are researchers, not ‘finders,’” said Weinstein-Evron. “The minute we uncover one thing,it is the beginning of looking into something else.”
A breakthrough discovery 15 years in the making
Dating and typifying the fossil took 15 years and a team of inter-disciplinary international scientists who together confirmed the groundbreaking fossil’s properties and its dating to circa 170,000 to 200,000.
Back in 2002, the jawbone fossil was discovered in “petrified soil,” said Hershkovitz. It was removed as a block out of the cave and taken to the laboratory, where the year-long process of sediment removal commenced.
“It is a frustrating process that takes a lot of time. It must be done step by step in order not to damage the fossil. It took about a year just to clean and prepare it for study,” he said.
Reconstructed maxilla from micro CT images of the 177,000 to 194,000-year-old maxilla (upper jaw) of Misliya-1 hominin. (Gerhard Weber, University of Vienna, Austria)
Next, the fossil’s dating began. “This is the critical issue, we had to be absolutely sure,” he said, so it was decided to use the next several years to implement several different methods to date the bone, as well as sediment from the excavation site.
“It takes years, working almost day by day on the specimen,” he said. Some of the dating processes are time dependent, explained Hershkovitz, such as a radiation dating technique which requires a year.
The team, he said, had no idea about how old the jawbone would turn out to be. “The first thing that caught our eyes was that the layer we were excavating was from the early middle paleolithic period, which in Israel is 250,000 to 140,000. So we were quite sure the specimen was older than 120,000,” the oldest known Homo sapien fossil outside of Africa until that time.
The dating completed, he said, “we had to prove that the specimen belongs to our species, Homo sapiens.” To that end, the bone was scanned for 3D analysis.
Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Rachel Sarig participated in the analysis. “In the Misliya specimen we used the most advanced methods, using micro CT analysis, which actually allowed us to dig into the tooth, to virtually peel the layers of the bone and other teeth, we could look into the tooth into the dentin layer and analyze the shape of the dentin of the roots of the tooth and of the enamel crown.”
Sarig said the specimen displays “modern characteristics.” “It has more modern features which are similar to modern populations than to other ancient populations such as the Neanderthals,” said Sarig.
According to Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Hila May, there are five features that indicate the maxilla jawbone is of the Homo sapien species. These include the small parabolic dental arch, the location of the incisive foramen, where the anterior part (zygomatic arch) enters to the maxilla, the ridge where the anterior part of the zygomatic arch enters to the maxilla, and the orientation of the floor of the nasal cavity, May enumerated in a video put out by Tel Aviv University.
Location of early modern human fossils in Africa and the Middle East. (Rolf Quam, Binghamton University, USA/NASA image)
Click on the red triangle for a better view
In the video, Weinstein-Evron sits at a table in front of an array of tools which were discovered in the cave. She pointed out the rugged, large hand axes, then the lighter, more precise and sophisticated flint tools, a clear visual representation of the evolution of the human species.
“We found evidence for everything in the cave… And from Mount Carmel, apparently these modern humans with their industry, colonized slowly and slowly, all of the old world,” said Weinstein-Evron.
As to who these early modern humans were and what they were capable of, Hershkovitz said, is impossible to know based purely on this upper jawbone.
“But judging from the sophistication of their tools, which were formed using a very unique technique, that attests to their intellectual capabilities. I personally believe they were as smart as we are today, but that’s just a guess,” said Hershkovitz.
A new study by researchers at the National Human Genome Institute (NHGRI) examined why some people grow out of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while others continue to have symptoms into adulthood. They discovered that adults with ADHD persisting from childhood partly lose the usual balance of connections between brain networks that control action and those that control daydreaming or introspecting. Researchers have argued that this imbalance – between the brain “online” and the brain “offline”- might account for the lapses of attention that are found in ADHD. By contrast, adults who had “grown out” of their childhood ADHD, did not show such a loss of balanced brain activity, according to findings published October 31, 2017, in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).
The researchers looked at brain function in 205 adult participants: 101 participants had been diagnosed with childhood ADHD and 104 subjects never had ADHD. They looked at changes in the brain’s oxygen levels to determine the location of brain networks using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) (mailto:http://fmri.ucsd.edu/Research/whatisfmri.html) , and they studied the different levels of neuronal activity that by looking at the brain’s magnetic fields using magnetoencephalography (mailto:http://ilabs.washington.edu/what-magnetoencephalography-meg) .
Regardless of the type of brain imaging used, the researchers found that adults who had inattentive symptoms persisting from childhood lost the usual balance of connections between the online and offline brain networks. Specifically, a network that is prominent when a person is introspective is usually switched off when a person engages in tasks. This balance was partly lost in the adults with persistent inattention. By contrast, this pattern of connections between brain networks in adults who outgrew ADHD looked very similar to the adults who never had ADHD. These findings support the theory that among individuals who recover from ADHD, there is a childhood disruption to brain function that corrects itself by adulthood.
“Most adults have a balance between the online, task-oriented brain and the offline, day-dreaming brain, but we found that’s not the case for adults whose ADHD persists,” said Gustavo Sudre, Ph.D., study co-author and postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Shaw’s lab. “We found that adults who recovered from ADHD had a very similar balance of online and offline brains to those who never had ADHD.”
NHGRI’s investment in this type of high impact, longitudinal research and the participants’ long-term commitment to ADHD research make studies like this possible.
“We first met these individuals at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center when they were eight years old,” Dr. Shaw said. “They are so committed to ADHD research that they have kept coming back for 14 years. It’s great to see so many of the children who had severe ADHD grow into adults who are managing very well.”
In the next step of their research, Drs. Shaw and Gustavo will collaborate with an international ADHD research consortium to find genes associated with the disrupted brain networks.
Read the study