DNA Testing for Free?! Explore Your Options!
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Getting free information about your genes is not easy these days. If you simply Google ways to get free DNA test kits, you won’t find much. Just 23andMe ads, and false leads to family history websites. If you’re lucky, you might find a minor discount for one of the major DNA testing companies. But, that’s about it.
However, the editors at Genomelink are here to help! In this article, we have compiled all the best ways to get the most DNA information for your buck!
*Have you already got your DNA test kit? Just looking for websites where you can upload a raw DNA data file to get additional analysis or access relative finder network? If so, please read this article about "Best DNA Upload Sites," or check out Genomelink (you'll get 25+ free fun traits!).
Join a Research Study!
One of the only real ways to get a free DNA kit is to join a research study. Below are several options, most of which will give you a full genetic analysis.
The All of Us Research Project
The All of Us Research Project is a project based on United States residents funded by the National Institutes of Health, a federally-funded research organization. The large-scale study has the goal of analyzing the genetics, health habits, diets, and lifestyles of over 1 million Americans in an effort to better understand how we can use genetics in precision medicine.
To join the project, simply follow the instructions on JoinAllofUs.org. The website will have you sign up, and you will need to report to an enrollment center to have your initial measurements taken, in addition to any other start-up questions the researchers have. Then, you will give a DNA sample with a simple mouth swab. The project, in return, shares all of the new information that is uncovered.
Genes For Good
Genes For Good is a University of Michigan-sponsored project aiming to gather and study large populations of genetic data. The study is open to U.S. residents. To join the study, you simply sign up using the study’s Facebook app. Then, you will be asked several survey questions made by genetic genealogists and geneticists. After you have filled out the surveys, the researchers will mail you a normal autosomal DNA test spit collection tube. Spit in the tube, and you’re off to the races!
Genes For Good provides a wide range of results in exchange for your help with the project. They have a chromosome browser that allows you to discover where portions of your autosomal DNA originated. Other DNA results include information on health-related SNPs, several charts on your genetic genealogy, where you fit on a plot of world populations, and other great information found in the major DNA kits.
Check For Your Last Name!
One of the most interesting ways people can get a free DNA kit is a bit unusual. The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) hosts a Wiki page called Free DNA Tests. This page is mostly dedicated to family finder projects. So, check for your last name!
Many of these projects offer free DNA analysis for people in certain family lines. Many of the projects are funded by private families or researchers trying to fully complete family trees. For this reason, most of the projects are only analyzing the Y-chromosome, which stores information about your paternal line. Others are for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). This form of DNA stores information about your maternal line.
But, if you watch the ISOGG site, you may stumble across all types of studies. Many universities offer more limited DNA studies that they may post on this site. However, not all of the studies and offers on this site will give you the same easy-to-understand test results you can get on a consumer DNA test or by participating in a research project.
Use Your Raw DNA Data for Free Analysis!
One of the easiest ways to get free DNA information is to use your raw DNA data. This does mean you have to first purchase 1 DNA test, but everything after that can be free. There are many third-party companies that will analyze your raw data in their DNA database. Check out how this works below!
Commonly, ancestry DNA websites allow you to upload your raw DNA data for free. This is true for companies like FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), MyHeritage, LivingDNA, and other testing companies. Other sites, like GEDmatch, will allow you to research family members and your maternal and paternal line through haplogroups. In fact, you can check a blog post we’ve written about the best free ancestry testing sites.
Other Ways to Explore Your Raw DNA Data
If you are still looking for cheap or free ways to explore your raw DNA data, check out some of your other options. Many of these companies offer additional analyses of your data so you can learn more about your DNA. Did we mention some of them are free?!
To find out more DNA upload sites, check out our article "The Best DNA Upload Sites"