DNA Testing Update

Welcome to DNA Testing Update, my blog that keeps you up-to-date with what's new at DNA Testing Adviser. I’ll tell you about…

  • New or updated articles on the website

  • Significant news from the genealogy and adoption search communities

  • DNA testing tips for paternity, genealogy, and adoption search

Most of my posts are deliberately brief. You can read my latest posts below; but you can also have DNA Testing Update delivered directly to your computer.

How do I subscribe to DNA Testing Update?

You don't even need an email address. It's easy to set up an RSS feed using the buttons at the bottom of the column on the left. If you're not familiar with RSS, click on the question mark above the RSS graphic to learn everything you need to know.

Oct 28, 2020

Help Collect Sibling Data Statistics

This only applies to those who have data from full or three-quarter siblings that are either tested at 23andme or have uploaded to GEDmatch. Blogger Kitty Cooper is doing a research project on this. If you fit her criteria, please follow this link to add your data. Thanks.

Continue reading "Help Collect Sibling Data Statistics"

Oct 27, 2020

Testing Your Dog's DNA Can Reveal a Lot

Pet DNA testing has become a big thing. As with humans, your dog inherited DNA from its ancestors. And that DNA can determine certain traits. For a good introduction to the subject, read this post at Best DNA Testing Kits.

Continue reading "Testing Your Dog's DNA Can Reveal a Lot"

Oct 26, 2020

South Asian Adoptees Are Turning to DNA

People adopted from South Asian countries such as India face huge barriers when they search for birth families. DNA testing is often the last resort but not all tests are available there. This article shares one man's search experience.

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Oct 23, 2020

Own Your Online Photo Storage with FOREVER

Don’t rent cloud storage for your precious photos. Own your online photo storage, share it with family, and pass it on to children and grandchildren.

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Oct 23, 2020

Health Testing Alternatives to 23andMe

A lot of people are not happy with recent actions at 23andMe. Yet that company was the pioneer in genetic health testing for consumers. Today, there are multiple options for genetic health testing and I've tried five of them. You can read my evaluation on this page of my website.

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Oct 22, 2020

DNA Connects Half Siblings in Their 80s

The old saying "better late than never" certainly applies to this case. A lifelong assumption about fatherhood is upended by DNA testing. But this man is thrilled to find and neet three half-siblings.

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Oct 21, 2020

How Personal Genomics Can Screen Your DNA for Genetic Disorders

Learn about personalized genetic testing, including your disease risk, carrier status, cellular aging and which personal genomics companies to trust.

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Oct 21, 2020

DNA Surprises Lead to Fertility Fraud Suits

DNA testing has uncovered several cases where fertility doctors used their own sperm to get women pregnant instead of the promised anonymous donors. Some of these doctors are deceased. But others are still living and now being sued for their actions.

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Oct 20, 2020

The Origins of South Asian DNA Per Country

With so many Americans having European ancestry, we don't see much written about genetic origins for the rest of the world. This article takes a look at that subject for India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

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Oct 16, 2020

Why Are Americans Obsessed with Genealogy?

This is the title of a new article in Psychology Today. The reasons have changed over time and the availability of low-cost genetic genealogy DNA tests is a big reason today.

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Oct 15, 2020

A DNA Test Reveals that Dad is Not Her Father

Today's huge DNA databases have made it much easier for adoptees and others to find lost families. It also means that more people are accidentally uncovering old family secrets. Here's an example that, fortunately, turned out well.

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Oct 14, 2020

My Family Photos and Yours

This is DNA Testing Adviser Richard Hill. Decades of family photos are the most irreplaceable things in our homes. About 20 months ago, I discovered FOREVER and began to save, organize, and share mine.

I am so enthusiastic about this that I just became a FOREVER Ambassador. If you sign up for an account through me, I will personally help you get started and be there to advise you in the future. Please read this page on my website to learn how I am using FOREVER and what it can do for your family's memories.

If you sign up for an account with FOREVER, make sure that my name, Richard Hill, and my picture appear by the space where you create an account.

Continue reading "My Family Photos and Yours"

Oct 13, 2020

A Good Introduction to Mitochondrial DNA Testing

With all the attention paid to autosomal DNA tests, we tend to forget about mitochondrial DNA testing. Abbreviated mtDNA, this test traces direct maternal lines. This blog post on Best DNA Testing Kits is a good introduction.

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Oct 12, 2020

Genetic Health Testing--A Far Better Alternative

Before you pay a $125 upgrade fee at 23andMe to get current health reports and buy a subscription to see future reports, I suggest you consider a far more comprehensive option for genetic health data. I've done every major DNA test and one of them is far above the rest.

Nebula Genomics decodes 100% of your DNA and produces 10,000 times more data than tests like 23andMe. This includes full mtDNA and Y-DNA sequencing. They also require a subscription, but right now they're having a sale on their LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION. This is the one I did and I continue to be blown away by the amount of health information and the quality of the presentation. See this link to learn more.

Continue reading "Genetic Health Testing--A Far Better Alternative"

Oct 09, 2020

Outrage Over Surprise Changes at 23andMe

Genealogists everywhere are furious over the latest move by DNA testing company 23andMe. Unless you are willing and able to upgrade to their new 23andMe+ subscription, you lose much more than some of your genetic matches. Blogger Shannon Christmas does a nice job of summarizing the situation.

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Oct 08, 2020

Big Changes at 23andMe: Check Your Account Now

With no prior notice, 23andMe has made major changes. They have introduced an optional 23andMe+ subscription service for $29/year. In addition to new, ongoing health reports, this reveals up to 5,000 matches in DNA Relatives. Until you upgrade, the old cap of 2,000 matches has been cut to 1.500 matches. 23andMe+ requires that you have tested on their V5 chip (introduced in August 2017). If you tested on an earlier chip, a new sample is required. I don't like the way they did this at all, but I subscribed this morning and am eagerly going though my new reports and matches. Use this link and then Sign In to check your account.

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Oct 07, 2020

The DNA Journey--Don't Miss It

If you have never watched this brief video, I urge you to watch it. It demonstrates how DNA testing can reduce prejudice and make the world a friendlier place. I first saw it a few years ago but just enjoyed watching it again.

Continue reading "The DNA Journey--Don't Miss It"

Oct 06, 2020

Now is the Perfect Time to Save, Organize, and Share Your Memories

Use my link to get a free 2 GB storage account at FOREVER. I will personally help you get started. Like it and you have until 10/31/20 to save 50% on a 10 GB account. Depending on file size, that will be enough to hold 2,500-5,000 photos.

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Oct 05, 2020

Does Your Blood Type Make You More Likely To Catch Coronavirus?

The virus continues to make headlines and there have been reports about the impact of blood types on susceptibility. This article summarizes what is known and includes some research by 23andMe.

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Oct 02, 2020

AutoSegment Analysis at Genetic Affairs

There's a new tool at Genetic Affairs. AutoSegment looks at your segments of DNA and where they are located on the chromosomes. Then it groups them based on which of your matches share the same segment on the same chromosome. Patricia Coleman explains the tool and provides examples of its use.

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Oct 01, 2020

Updated Ethnicity Results on the Family Finder DNA Test

Family Tree DNA recently updated our ethnicity reports that are included with the Family Finder test. myOrigins 3.0 is a major update and expansion with more reference populations and improved calculations. Read about it in this summary.

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Sep 30, 2020

The Challenges Of Identifying Native American Ancestry

Many people with family stories of a Native American ancestor are disappointed when such ancestry does not show up in the ethnicity estimate of a DNA test. Furthermore, a DNA test can’t confirm specific ancestry as it relates to tribal affiliation. For more on this subject, read this post.

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Sep 29, 2020

The Perfect Way to Protect and Save Memories and Genealogy Records for Our Descendants

Like you, I have thousands of photos in both digital and print form...plus my genealogy files. I now have a way to convert everything to digital and organize it all in a way that fits my needs. Plus, it's totally private and guaranteed to pass on to my heirs. Click the link to read what I'm doing. There's even a link for a free starter account.

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Sep 28, 2020

Donor Conceived Survey Measures the Tremendous Impact of DNA Testing

Nearly 500 donor-conceived people responded to this survey. 34% discovered the truth about their origins from taking a commercial DNA test. 78% identified their donor through testing and nearly all of them found siblings, often large numbers of them. There's much more in the report about the attitudes and experiences of donor-conceived people.

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Sep 25, 2020

A Tip for Small Business Owners and Professional Genealogists

Like many people, I have a profile on LinkedIn. But it just sits there. I just signed up for an online course on how to use LinkedIn effectively. If you're a professional genealogist or anyone looking for clients, you need this. The instructor is George Kao, a marketing coach for small business owners. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and I have taken several of his inexpensive courses. Sign up before 9/30/20 to get the pre-launch discount. Click the link for details.

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Sep 24, 2020

MyHeritage Updates Theory of Family Relativity

One of the best features of any DNA test is the Theory of Family Relativity at MyHeritage. It uses billions of family tree profiles and historical records to suggest relationship paths between you and your DNA Matches. They just refreshed the data and this added millions of new and improved theories. If you have not done this test, you are missing out. If you are already included, log in now and review your new theories.

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Sep 23, 2020

A Humorous Clip About DNA Ethnicity Estimates

Many DNA tests now include an estimated breakdown of your ethnic origins. While such reports can be fun and even informative, some people take them much too seriously. Enjoy a laugh with this very short video.

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Sep 22, 2020

Why Test Your Pet's DNA?

DNA testing isn't just for humans. Many people are testing their pets to learn the animal’s breed, health history, and other insights. This is not something I've ever done myself. But I can understand why many pet owners are curious about such tests. This article provides an overview.

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Sep 21, 2020

Ancestry's Blog on their Updated Ethnicity Estimate

By now, all AncestryDNA users should have the newly updated ethnicity estimate. As always happens with such revisions, some people are happy and others are not. Either way, you can learn more by reading what Ancestry writes about it. Don't miss the links within the article that tell more.

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Sep 18, 2020

A Sperm Donor's Perspective on Fertility Clinic Lies

Besides lying to prospective parents, some fertility clinics also lied to sperm donors. This donor was told there would be at most five children and all would be located on the East Coast. None of that was true and DNA testing uncovered the secret.

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Sep 17, 2020

The New Coalition for Genetic Truth

I recently learned about a new advocacy group to combat the "stigma surrounding the experience of NPEs, donor-conceived people, and adoptees." This article tells how it came about and provides links to many useful resources.

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Sep 16, 2020

Your New Ethnicity Estimate is Still an ESTIMATE

AncestryDNA has rolled out the latest update to our ethnicity reports. For some, it better matches known ancestry. But others are not pleased. Blogger Judy G. Russell does a nice job explaining why this is not a big deal either way.

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Sep 15, 2020

The Genetics of Lactose Intolerance

If you love dairy products but can’t eat them, your intolerance to lactose could be genetic. This blog post explores the genetics of this common condition.

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Sep 14, 2020

A Cousin Chart Explained

If your family members are still confused about cousin relationships such as "second cousin once removed" here's a nice clear description that you can share with them.

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Sep 10, 2020

Understanding DNA Test Accuracy

Lean how DNA test accuracy depends on the type of information you seek.

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Sep 10, 2020

How "Timber" Filters Our DNA Matches at Ancestry

Ancestry uses a proprietary algorithm on our DNA matches to filter out DNA segments that are not helpful in finding our common ancestors. Blogger Diahan Southard shares a good explanation of Timber in this blog post.

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Sep 09, 2020

Two Korean Sisters Discover Each Other Through a DNA Test

A woman in Korea gave up two daughters eight years apart. One was adopted by a couple in Washington. The other went to Michigan. Both did a 23andMe test to learn about genetic health issues. They showed up as a half-sibling match and discovered each other.

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Sep 08, 2020

Some Basic Things to Know About DNA Testing

If you have not yet done a DNA test, this brief article can help prepare you with some basic information.

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Sep 07, 2020

Another Type of Secret Revealed by DNA Tests

One of the uglier secrets revealed by DNA testing is that of fertility doctors using their own sperm to impregnate their patients. It happened a lot and some donor-conceived people are discovering dozens of siblings.

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Sep 04, 2020

How DNA Ethnicity Results Can Connect Us All

Some people think that DNA ethnicity results perpetuate racist thinking. But that's not true. DNA ethnicity results actually connect us rather than divide us. Blogger Diahan Southard explains how with supporting examples.

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Sep 03, 2020

Ancestry Adds StoryScout: Be Careful

A new feature at Ancestry, oddly positioned under the DNA menu, features historical records woven into a story about one of your ancestors. But be careful. While some of these records are accurate, many more are not. And the accompanying photos are typically generic. Blogger Roberta Estes takes this new feature for a test drive and shares what she finds.

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Sep 02, 2020

Improve Your Communications with Good Design

While I'm comfortable with words, my ability to combine images and fonts into a pleasing design is limited. I found some free graphic tools online but I don't know what to do with them. That's why I signed up for this online course in visual marketing. If this is something that interests you, I invite you to join me in the classes that begin next week.

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Sep 01, 2020

Is DNA The Answer To A COVID-19 Vaccine?

The whole world is waiting for an effective vaccine to end the pandemic. This article shares some insights into vaccine development and the difference between conventional vaccines and gene-based vaccines.

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Aug 28, 2020

Now You Can Follow Me on Instagram

I just started a DNA-focused account on Instagram. If you use Instagram, I invite you to follow me there. I'm not posting as often as I do on Facebook. But you will find some useful content presented in a different way. Look for richardhilldna.

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Aug 28, 2020

Genes May Influence COVID-19 Risk

There are some indications that genes and blood type may affect the severity of COVID-19. This recent article in Scientific American gets into that subject.

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Aug 27, 2020

Are You Keeping a Secret About Your Child's Birth?

Countless parents never told their child he or she was adopted or donor-conceived. Or that dad was not the biological father. Thanks to widespread DNA testing, thousand of such secrets have been exposed already. Brianne Kirkpatrick is a genetic counselor who believes such news should come from you. In this post, she offers many ideas and tools for helping with that conversation.

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Aug 26, 2020

Finding Family with DNA Testing

This is the third presentation I recorded for the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2020 Virtual Conference. Do you enjoy stories about adoptees reuniting with lost family members? Or do you just want an update on the latest DNA testing strategies, tools, and resources? This presentation also covers the issue of surprises that can result from DNA testing. While I have never written an epilogue to "Finding Family," readers who watch this presentation will be pleased to learn of my family’s many new discoveries.

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Aug 25, 2020

Ways That DNA Test Samples Get Contaminated

You send away your cheek swabs or saliva sample for a DNA test. Then weeks later the lab notifies you that they could not read your results and you have to start all over again. It's frustrating. This article summarizes the many different things to watch out for when submitting a DNA sample.

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Aug 24, 2020

Y-Chromosome Insights & Strategies

With so much focus on autosomal DNA tests, many people overlook Y-chromosome testing. Yet Y-DNA’s uniquely male inheritance path lets you do things that cannot be done through other test types.⁣ I just recorded this presentation for the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2020 Virtual Conference. It's one of the three DNA testing presentations I am doing for this event.

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› DNA Testing Blogs

How an RSS Reader Can Simplify Your Life

My blog will appear in RSS readers. If you're not sure why you need one, read this article in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.