GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-02 > 1139688033
From: (John Chandler)
Subject: Re: [DNA] "General" DNA test
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 15:00:33 -0500 (EST)
> I just finished watching the PBS program on African American Heritage which
> included DNA testing. I am familar with Y-DNA and mtDNA testing. My
> question what is the test that gives you the broader answers that were given
> on the program, ie, one person was, say, 70% African, 20% European, 5% East
> Asian, 5% Native American??
The test that is commercially available is DNAprint from Ancestry By DNA.
Before you pursue it, though, you must understand that the test is
statistical in nature, and the margin of error is about 10 percentage
points. For that reason, any report that says "5%" this or that is
reporting noise as if it were signal. In the example you gave, the
70% is a clear indication of majority African, but the three minority
components are not clearly separated from each other, and the two
smallest (at 5%) are not clearly different from ZERO. If the person
who got that report was hoping to prove or disprove a family story
about a Chinese great great grandmother, this would be a flop, since
the test cannot detect gradations that fine.
> I am a female and I expect that I am 100% European ancestry. Would the
> results of such a test break the results down further than the category
The same company offers a similar test for those of predominantly
"Indo-European" ancestry, giving subdivisions for South Asian,
Middle Eastern, and so on. The same cautions apply.