Surprising Things You Can Find in a DNA Test
Surprising Things You Can Find in a DNA Test
Are you considering taking a home DNA test to learn more about your health or ancestry? If you’re like most people, your knowledge about your ancestry is limited – that’s why you’re thinking about taking the test. Beware, because testing your DNA is sure to be chock-full of surprises.
Home DNA test kits have made it possible to have a world of information at your fingertips. What can you find out from a DNA test? You can discover your unique genetic imprint and uncover ancestors who played important roles in their communities. However, not all of the surprises waiting for you are necessarily welcome ones.
If you or someone in your family wants to take a DNA test, prepare yourself for information that could shock or even be hurtful to some members of your family.
What Can You Find Out From a DNA Test? Here Are 9 Surprises to Prepare For
Hopefully, most of the information you get from DNA testing enhances the understanding of your ancestry in some way, and any surprises are at least pleasant ones. To help you cope with any potentially disturbing discoveries, consider these common DNA shockers.
1. You’re Related to Someone Who Never Took a DNA Test
When you see an ancestor pop up on your family tree that died long before DNA testing was available, it could and should make you question how valid that information is. Sites like AncestryDNA maintain large data banks with tens of thousands of people sharing information they’ve discovered. When your DNA data is compared to the DNA of others, the site looks for any common ancestors you may share with someone else in your gene pool.
2. You Can Track Your Specific Bloodline
When someone says “we are blood”, they are not mistaken. With DNA at-home test sampling, you can actually track your specific bloodlines.Our mitochondrial heritage from our maternal side—a part of our unique cellular content that actually produces energy—can allow you access to your maternal ancestors. This information can date back and be tracked for thousands of years.
3. How to Prevent Health Issues in the Future
What can you find out from a DNA test? One of the most important things is how to keep yourself healthy. Technology is so advanced that it can analyze your DNA and tell you what medical conditions to look out for. Based on your DNA specimen, genetic disorders and issues can be determined both in unborn babies as well as your future self.
If you have a statistical chance of a genetic or medical issue in your bloodline, DNA can make you aware of it. Scientists can now accurately predict genetic issues from your DNA sample alone. This can potentially save your life.
4. You and a Parent Are Not a Genetic Match
Many people are unknowingly raised by a non-biological parent. In some cases, the parent also does not realize a child isn’t their biological offspring. Finding out your mother or father is not your biological parent doesn’t change the quality of the relationship or the love shared between a parent and child, but it can change the family dynamic.
DNA testing can reveal infidelity in a marriage or even more complex secrets, such as finding out your older sister is actually your mother. You might also learn that your biological father was a sperm donor, revealing your parents’ private struggle with infertility.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to prepare for this kind of disruption in the family unit, but knowing it could be a possibility may help.
5. Your True Heritage
Many people grow up thinking they know their background. However, stories throughout time can become lost in translation.
For example, if you were raised to believe you were 100% Italian, you may be shocked when you realize that no one is 100% of any one thing; we are all mixed to some degree. What can you find out from a DNA test? DNA genetic testing will show an approximately accurate depiction of what your true heritage is—and you may not be what you think you are.
6. You Have a New Sibling
It is quite possible that your DNA sample will bring results back that you have another sibling. Situations can present themselves at your birth. Whether your sibling was given up for adoption or one of your parents had a child with another person, your DNA will link you both as siblings.
This is possible only when the other sibling also takes the DNA at-home test plunge. DNA matching will analyze and assess unique genetic markers and determine who shares the most with you.
7. You Were Switched at Birth
Sending home the wrong baby with a family is an exceedingly rare occurrence. A recent study published in the Journal of Perinatology found that only about 12 out of 100,000 infants born in the U.S. are given to the wrong parent. Indeed, it would be a shock for the entire family to discover you are not genetically related to either of your parents.
However, the chances that one of your parents is not a biological match to your grandparents is slightly higher.
8. You Are Adopted
One of the most shocking things you can find out from DNA testing is that you are adopted. As heart-wrenching as it can be, having the ability to learn the truth about your true ancestors and heritage can do you a world of good.
We learn our self-perspectives and self-awareness through the teachings of our history and ancestors. This can be your chance to relearn yourself and discover more in-depth information about where you came from.
9. Your Coworker Is Your Cousin
Depending on the size of your family, the idea that you’re related to someone you work with is not that far-fetched. DNA testing can find distant cousins you never knew you had. The more distant the relationship, the less DNA you’ll have in common and the lower the test accuracy will be. However, don’t be surprised if you find out your coworker, neighbor, or even best friend, is a distant relation.
Bonus Surprise: You Have a New Hobby
When you first wonder, “What can you find out from a DNA test” you probably aren’t thinking about yourself as the kind of person who will enjoy spending hours rifling through old census records. But learning about your ancestry can be a fun and addictive hobby. Each new piece of information is like finding a piece of the most complex and personal puzzle.
If you have a thirst to learn more, ancestry testing sites are a great place to start. These companies provide tips for researching in addition to maintaining giant databases. There are also many sources of free information, such as public records.
However you approach your ancestry search, be prepared to have a lot of fun and meet new people to share your hobby with. Don’t be too surprised if you find out you’re related to them.