November 29, 2021
Product Reviews

Why Do People Say Ancestry DNA Results are Fake?

So how is ancestry DNA testing done, and do they give fake ancestry DNA results?
Tomohiro Takano

One of the people's recent curiosities that have raised a few eyebrows is finding out more about their ancestral roots. Research is an endless expedition that humans constantly engage themselves in. However, clients often receive these results negatively as they look at them with lots of doubts and uncertainty.

There is a lot of excitement in knowing where your roots are from, which drives many people to take ancestry DNA tests to find out about their origin. For some, it's all about discovering where their distinct characteristics (physical or behavioral) originated. For a small number, it's simply the pride of knowing where their ancestors once lived that leads them to get an ancestry DNA test.

However, ancestry DNA results have received a harsh reception from the public as multiple individuals believe they are fake. On the contrary, we can address this claim as ignorance since only a few analyze such results. The significant concern always pointed out is that ancestry DNA results are inaccurate. This is typically drawn from the differences in results from company to company, but is this a factual claim?

So how is ancestry DNA testing done, and do they give fake ancestry DNA results? To determine whether or not ancestry DNA results are simulated, we have to look at how they are obtained and what information they present. We will then match them to the expectations of the users and the accuracy of the details.

How DNA Ancestry Testing Works

Initially, DNA tests were taken primarily for health purposes, and they were meant to provide a better understanding of your body, especially regarding genetically transferred diseases. However, over the years, this notion has changed. These tests are now perceived as a way to discover the roots of individuals.

The "ancestry service," as often referred to by many specialists, is a collection of features meant to provide a comprehensive look into your history. There is an effortless procedure to follow during a test. It involves;

1. Create an account on the chosen company's site

2. Get your ancestry DNA testing kit

3. Put a spit sample on a test kit

4. Send it to the company

You then have to wait for your ancestry DNA results, which takes a while since it's quite a process to come up with the results eventually. When the time comes, you'll be notified that the results are out. You'll be required to access your account, where personalized web pages will present detailed information about your ancestry and, in some cases, paternal and maternal lines.

However, how do such services determine your ancestry? It's done through a series of studies of the string of letters (A's, C's, G's & T's) after your spit sample is digitized. These long strings are the labels assigned to the four present nucleobases of DNA, and these are the letters used to write genes. So what can you get from DNA ancestry tests?

What DNA Ancestry Testing Involves

It is crucial to have a clear picture of what to expect when you get an ancestry DNA test. This will help you avoid any claims of expectations-based fake ancestry DNA results. So what can you get from these tests?

It's important to note that DNA ancestry test results aren't about your entire DNA but rather about a tiny fraction of your DNA. This is something that most people who take Ancestry DNA Tests aren't aware of. To better understand how DNA ancestry tests work, let's first address the basics. There are about three billion base pairs in our genetic code. They are A(adenine), C(cytosine), G(guanine) & T(thymine).

In all these pairs, 99.9% are identical in all humans. The 0.1% makes the difference, where one person might have an A instead of T or a C instead of G. These single-letter differences are called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These can explain why people are taller than others or why some people have blue eyes, and others have brown eyes. However, most SNPs have no known significant effects at all.

Upon receiving your spit sample, a testing company will compare your SNP pattern to different reference populations in their database. The reference populations contain SNPs known to exist more frequently in diverse modern populations globally, including European, East Asian, and West African. You'll then get a percentage representing how strong your SNP pattern resembles that of these reference populations.

Are these Ancestry DNA Results Fake?

It'll be so clear that ancestry DNA results are very accurate with a proper understanding. However, they might also differ from one company to another. Different companies have different studies on the reference groups, and they tend to use their data to analyze the samples that come their way. This explains why you can get different results from different companies.

Furthermore, there isn't a definite way to classify human beings by their genes which further complicates the whole process. Different reference groups might share some traits, which might make it difficult to distinguish the various populations. However, this is very normal, considering that humans share 99.9% of their genetic codes.

The results from ancestry DNA tests are often the best probability with a margin of error. Nonetheless, they bring out the tiny difference that distinguishes the genes from person to person. It's displayed through the slight percentage differences that connect someone to specific reference groups.

Closing Remarks

So are ancestry DNA results fake? No, it's more important to realize what kind of results to expect from taking the ancestry DNA test. That will give you a proper understanding of what to regard as genuine or fake.

People often blame the differences they get from company to company. However, considering that these companies use different databases and have the slightest of differences between them, it shows that the results are similar to some degree. Furthermore, it's done from research and analysis over the years, which eventually draws better results.

Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO