For Christmas I asked for pretty typical gifts. You know, a scarf, a gift certificate to my favorite nail salon, the usual. And then there was the not so common request…a genetic kit for ancestry.
The 23andMe test allows you to do three things…
- Learn what percent of your DNA is from populations around the world
- Contact your DNA relatives across continents or across the street
- Build your family tree and enhance your experience with relatives
To be completely honest, I am only interested in learning about the first bullet but I could see why others would be interested in connecting with relatives. I know I am definitely Italian, Irish and a mix of a few other nationalities but I am curious to learn what they are.
The process is pretty simple. They mail you a box with prepaid return postage. Here is a look at the inside:
Once you get your kit registered, it is time to provide a sample. I realize I haven’t mentioned that the way 23andMe conducts their test is through analyzing a sample of saliva, This bring us to step 2, providing the sample.
I won’t lie, providing the sample was just about the most unladylike thing you can imagine. Spitting into a test tube was not a moment I felt you needed to see (for your sake and mine) so I skipped documenting it :). After you fill the tube to the required level, you close the top. When this happens a clear liquid drops into the tube that was stored in the lid. Last you shake up the tube and then mail it back.
Once the package arrives at the 23andMe lab the magic begins,,,
Results take about 4-6 weeks and I am psyched to get them back. 23andMe used to include information about your health in addition to just genetics but they no longer offer that service. Bummer because it sounded cool. Regardless I look forward to learning more about my heritage. Stay tuned!
Want to buy the 23andMe test? Get it here for $99.