Powerful DNA Tools for Maximizing a DNA Test
If you have already purchased a DNA test, or are thinking about it, you should know that there are many new and excellent tools on the internet for making the most of your DNA test. There are tools for analyzing your family tree, finding DNA matches, conducting genetic genealogy, measuring your DNA in centimorgans with a chromosome browser, and there are even tools for finding scientific research based on your DNA kit raw data.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the most popular and powerful tools for analyzing your genetic data with 3rd party tools. Check them out below!
DNA Tools on the Web
Each of the following sites specializes in a different type of genetic analysis, and each can be used for a special purpose.
At GEDmatch.com, you will find a number of tools for analyzing DNA matches. The program allows you to compare your DNA segments to the segments of other users. This allows you to build a more advanced analysis of your genetic data than most of the testing companies give you. You can also create a CSV GEDCOM file, which is a genealogical file you can analyze at sites like DNAgedcom. You can find more information on GEDmatch in this blog post.
Promethease is a program which allows users to upload their raw DNA data to find the most relevant scientific studies. If you are interested in finding the most up-to-date research on the genetic variants you carry, you can get a full Promethease report for $12. The platform allows you to search through your genetic variants based on how many studies reference the variant, so you can easily find where the scientific research is consistent and well-developed. See this post for how to use Promethease.
If you want a more curated version of Promethease, Genomelink is a great choice. With a free sign-up, you get access to 25 traits that are related to your DNA. The reports you receive are written by a team of science writers. The reports break down the complex scientific aspects of genetic research, and they give you an easy-to-understand breakdown of how your genes may affect various health and lifestyle traits.
If you have already used GEDmatch to create a GEDCOM file, you may want to perform additional analysis of that file. DNAgedcom.com allows you to analyze different family groups you are related to. This can show you which sides of your family your genes come from, how related you are to different groups, and the length in centimorgans (cM) that you share with certain individuals. For more on DNAgedcom, check out this blog post.
DNA Painter is a web application which makes it easier to visualize and analyze your genetic data. Using DNA Painter, users can identify segments of DNA they have inherited from specific ancestors. The platform allows you to take notes on various segments and is great for finding genetic ancestry information, as well as for finding living relatives. The first profile a user creates is free, but for a small subscription fee users can create multiple profiles, build multiple family trees, and bulk import new data. Learn more about DNA Painter here.
FamilySearch is a genetic genealogy website that lets users build family trees, search historical records, and help create an online community for researching family histories. FamilySearch is free, and operates the world’s largest shared family tree project. The site is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and most services are completely free.
DNAadoption.org is a site dedicated to helping adoptees find their families. The site uses novel DNA testing methods, as well as tried-and-true genealogical methods of searching through records. The site details all aspects of finding long-lost family members, from gathering your information and taking a DNA test all the way through contacting your family and having a reunion. The site also has several classes to learn more about DNA and how it can help you locate your family members.
Find More DNA Tools!
While the sites above are a great way to take a deeper dive into the information your genes can provide, there are a few other resources which are good to consider. The International Society of Genetic Genealogy provides a Wiki page which documents all of the DNA tools available to consumers. If you are looking for more information about the science behind these tools and their possible uses, The Genetic Genealogist is a great blog by Blaine Bettinger which explains many aspects of using DNA tools to reveal the secrets of your DNA.
Where to Get Raw DNA Data
The companies in this list allow you to download your raw DNA data file, which can be uploaded to the DNA tools discussed in this article. Other companies may offer this ability as well, but the companies below have been vetted for the ability to download raw DNA data.
- FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA)
- National Geographic Geno 2.0