How Credible Is An Ancestry DNA Test?
Many people are familiar with DNA testing as a means of ascertaining the filiation between a parent and a child, or as a way of determining the identity of a person who leaves behind his or her genetic signature, as is the case with identifying suspects who have fled the crime scene but left behind a strand of hair or a scrape of skin. But these aren't the only purposes for DNA testing.
An ancestry DNA test, for example, can determine the ancestral heritage of a person. Aside from skin color, distinctive physical features and the likes, some heritages are quite difficult to decipher from one another.
Central in the process of an ancestry DNA test is the classification of people into 4 main groups. These are:
1. East Asian;
2. Native American;
3. African; and
Indeed, people who come from these classifications do possess certain features that will immediately reveal their ancestry. But what about people whose parents come from different classifications? What is their dominant ancestry? How do they determine for certain?
Determining ancestry, especially in this day and age, does not really carry a lot of significance. The world has become one big network of people, regardless of color, sex, age or creed, after all. But there is indeed a sense of fulfillment in knowing where you came from as well as in discovering the culture that your ancestors have lived by.
An ancestry DNA test analyzes a DNA sequence called Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) to determine the dominant ethnicity of a subject. Aside from this, other present ethnicities are also discovered by a calculation of the genetic percentage as it appears on the appearance of the appropriate SNP.
Is Ancestry DNA test an acceptable procedure in this day and age, however?
The answer, unfortunately, is no.
A lot of quarters are questioning the propriety of such a test, claiming that it only promotes division by fostering adherence to cultural ties that may foster bigotry. Though this complaint is quite unfounded, given the fact that one's ancestry is a big part of who he is, the other claim against the test seems to have more merit.
A test of this nature has yet to be verified by an independent party. Praises for the validity of its results come from institutions offering such a service. Until an independent validation of the procedure is made, such a test can never be promoted by the scientific community.
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