Friday, July 29, 2016

An Intriguing Study

For Christmas, Don gave me a National Geographic DNA kit.  We had heard about the study from the Gaskills, and Don decided to check it out.  I followed the instructions, and several months ago, I received the results.  I found out some interesting facts.

I discovered that my mom's family was one of the first to leave Africa over 60,000 years ago.  Once people left Africa, sometime they met up with Neanderthals in Europe (I thought Neanderthals lived in Africa . . . so much for what I know).  The average amount of Neanderthal contained in DNA appears to be about 2.1%.  I have 1.2%.  Hm.  Ultimately, the study shows that my DNA most closely resembles that of the Dutch and then the French, which is surprising since we thought we had a lot of Irish.  But that is from my dad, which I do not show because I do not have the Y Chromosome.  Hence, we asked Bart to check his DNA.

Bart's maternal side is the same as mine - no mystery.  His neanderthal percentage is 1.3% - so my dad must have had a little more.  Bart, too, appears to be Dutch and French, but he only has two major groups represented in his DNA - 77% Western European and 23% Irish.  Ah ha . . . that explains the Irish part.

Since then, I had my uncle tested, which gave us his father's DNA.  His is much more interesting than Bart's . . . and much rarer.  They do not have many people who have sent in DNA from those blood lines, which means they will continue to update it.  I have also done testing on my Aunt Ruth to get my dad's mother's side, and next up will be Don and his dad.  From them we will get Don's grandmother, his mother, and their Y chromosome.

Now none of this matters, but I do think it is interesting.  I did have to appeal to Ellie Quillen, a student from TIS who was in Kenneth's class and has a PhD in genetics, to figure it all out, but now it is making a lot of sense.  It doesn't give any specific bloodlines, but it is a fascinating study!

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