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  #1  
Old 12-09-2018, 09:55 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Please help me interpret my 23andMe ancestry results

My brothers and I are trying to convince my 90 year old dad to do it. He's the last one on his side left and our mom has passed too.

One of his problems with it, is that my results are not as Italian as he thinks they should be. Below are the pertinent results. I'm wondering if there is something about the testing itself or Italy as a country to come from that would explain it and convince him that it would support his proud Italian heritage.

Italian ........................ 1.5%
French/German........... 38.9
British/Irish ................30.3
Broadly NW European...17.8
Broadly Southern Euro....5.3
Broadly European ..........2.5
Iberian..........................2.2
  #2  
Old 12-09-2018, 10:05 AM
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Medical Genetic tests are private, by law.
23 And Me is a recreational genetic test.
You family's DNA is now available, for cash.
Interpret that.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2018, 10:53 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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My Italian uncle took one of these tests - which being a proud Italian American (and somewhat of a racist) he expected to come back as 100% Italian.

Turns out he's Italian, and a ton of a lot of other Mediterranean - including a lot of Greek and some African (which is what set him off).

DNA tracks back to when we all crawled out of the cradle of humanity. We mere humans look at our heritage as where our grandparents - maybe our great grandparents or great great grandparents - came from. This is especially true of Americans - who are - with the exception of Native Americans - all immigrants and "what nationality are you" is a question that doesn't get answered American, but gets answered "Irish and German."

It makes sense that an Italian living South of Rome on the Coast would have a hell of a lot of other Mediterranean DNA running through them. It isn't just recent generations that moved and settled.

I would guess that unlike my family, yours is from somewhere in Northern Italy - and inland. Somewhere where borders have changed quite a bit over the last 1000 years, where invading armies moved back and forth, some soldiers settling, some bringing wives back. (I'm also guessing Mom was mostly British/Irish).

I find this whole thing to be mystifying - I believe one of my biological great grandparents immigrated from a part of Europe that has changed names three times in my own lifetime alone - somewhere near modern Serbia. Even if there had been no migration of my ancestors over the previous 1000 years, the name of the place has changed so often to be meaningless. And note the biological - that Italian part of me - that's from the man who stepped in and adopted my father after WWII when my grandmother was a twenty year old divorcee with a child.

That probably won't convince your father to do it - it might convince you to let go of the idea as it doesn't necessarily convey a lot of meaning into heritage.
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2018, 12:40 PM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
Medical Genetic tests are private, by law.
23 And Me is a recreational genetic test.
You family's DNA is now available, for cash.
Interpret that.
I'm not sure what you're implying here but I've never understood the people who criticize these DNA tests on the basis that "they have your DNA now" or whatever. I've gotten this from people when the subject of the 23andMe test comes up..."dude, how could you just give them your DNA?" OK, so "they" have my DNA, what the hell is anyone going to do with it? Why should I be concerned?
  #5  
Old 12-09-2018, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
I'm not sure what you're implying here but I've never understood the people who criticize these DNA tests on the basis that "they have your DNA now" or whatever. I've gotten this from people when the subject of the 23andMe test comes up..."dude, how could you just give them your DNA?" OK, so "they" have my DNA, what the hell is anyone going to do with it? Why should I be concerned?
1. Obtain everyone's DNA results.
2. ????
3. Profit!
  #6  
Old 12-09-2018, 12:51 PM
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My wife expecting her test to come back showing substantial Italian genetics from her mother's side of the family. The result: 0% Italian. After a period of time where we assumed the testing was junk, she got in contact with a distant cousin big into geneology. Apparently great-great-grandfather Giuseppe and family fled legal trouble in Switzerland, assuming new identities after settling down one country south. We got our money's worth in entertainment value from that!

I hoped for some similar revelation in my test. Nope. Everything as expected.
  #7  
Old 12-09-2018, 01:04 PM
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Napoleon both I and III did a lot of meddling in Italy before and after unification. Ditto with Austria and Spain via the Hapsburgs, so coming up with French and German (Austrian) is probably right.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
I'm not sure what you're implying here but I've never understood the people who criticize these DNA tests on the basis that "they have your DNA now" or whatever. I've gotten this from people when the subject of the 23andMe test comes up..."dude, how could you just give them your DNA?" OK, so "they" have my DNA, what the hell is anyone going to do with it? Why should I be concerned?
I suppose if a health insurance company analyzes your DNA they could claim that you're a high risk for something, and raise your rates, or deny your insurance, or change your policy or something. I don't know if insurance companies could conceivably get your DNA anyway from lab tests you've done with an HMO.

Anyway, why is everyone so obsessed with being "Italian," (whatever that means genetically)?

"Italy" is nation-state composed of many different genetic pools, isn't it? Isn't it pointless to take a genetic test just to see if you're genetically "Italian"?
  #9  
Old 12-09-2018, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
Italian ........................ 1.5%
French/German........... 38.9
British/Irish ................30.3
Broadly NW European...17.8
Broadly Southern Euro....5.3
Broadly European ..........2.5
Iberian..........................2.2
Sometimes it is just a question of history. For example, there might not be any question that your great grandfather emigrated from Italy, but where did his parents and grandparents come from? Maybe they came to Italy from Germany or the UK, or lived on the French border.

Also, those percentages are just based on probabilities. Certain regions of your DNA are best matches for DNA regions that have been seen before in people of Irish heritage, for example. That doesn't mean that those same sequences can't come from Italians, just that isn't the most likely conclusion.

It also could be simple dilution. If your great grandfather, who might have been 75% Italian, emigrated from Italy, then had kids with an American of British/Irish origin, and your 1-time grandparent married another European mutt, and your dad married a half German woman, by the time things get to you, much of the Italian DNA regions might have been lost.

Finally, the estimates are only as good as the reference panel which is used. I expect 23andme will have a very good reference panel, but if for some reason they don't have many Italians in the panel, then they will have a hard time identifying Italian-ness. For example, I did my own ancestry using 1000 genomes (a public database) as my reference panel, but 1000 genomes doesn't have any Eastern European people in it. So my ancestry came back as something like 66% Western European, and 33% random other stuff (middle eastern, African, Finnish, South Asian) which are almost certainly wrong. What happened was, the DNA that Eastern and Western Europeans share came back as Western European, but the parts that are uniquely Eastern European came back as whatever was closest in the reference panel.


Anyway, that is several explanations for how both the ancestry results can be correct (within the limit of the technology) and the family lore of being Italian can also be true. It's also possible that your grandparents told your dad he was Italian, because that was somehow better than the truth...
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:15 PM
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I wouldn't put much stock in the ancestry those tests come up with. Some of my aunts took one, and got back no German ancestry at all, despite Grandma being nothing but German on any of her lines of ancestry at least four generations back.
  #11  
Old 12-09-2018, 01:39 PM
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They're also not percentage ancestry, but percentage expressed. To simplify it incredibly, let's pretend your dad is half polish, half irish and your mom is half german and half italian. Your DNA test will not necessarily come back 1/4 all things. You might end up getting all of your dad's irish markers and all of your mom's german genes so you show up as half irish, half german and your last name is Wiklanski. Of course, the odds of that are low, but over multiple generations, little things like that happen.
  #12  
Old 12-09-2018, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Anyway, why is everyone so obsessed with being "Italian," (whatever that means genetically)?
Why not? Out of all the countries in Europe, Italy seems to have, for lack of a better word, all the coolest shit. The best food, the best art, the best climate, the coolest cars, the finest clothes...arguably the most melodic sounding language....the most well-documented connections to ancient history probably of any country in Europe...

...even if your ancestors from Italy were poor peasants, you can still claim SOME kind of a connection to all this illustrious culture, because without farmers, none of it could have existed.
  #13  
Old 12-09-2018, 02:03 PM
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My daughter recently sent her DNA to 23andMe for analysis. When she texted me about it, I replied, "so, who's your daddy?"

It was cool to see. Her results were exactly what I'd have predicted. Plus, they notified her about two first cousins (my brother's son and daughter had their DNA done last year) as well as a second cousin who must be on her mom's side and who I do not know.
  #14  
Old 12-09-2018, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by echoreply View Post
Sometimes it is just a question of history. For example, there might not be any question that your great grandfather emigrated from Italy, but where did his parents and grandparents come from? Maybe they came to Italy from Germany or the UK, or lived on the French border.

Also, those percentages are just based on probabilities. Certain regions of your DNA are best matches for DNA regions that have been seen before in people of Irish heritage, for example. That doesn't mean that those same sequences can't come from Italians, just that isn't the most likely conclusion.
indeed yes. The Modern national borders =/= genetics. Simple as that. no such thing as the 'german genes' only 'some variations that are higher frequency in the populations in the modern germany.' But it is statistical frequency.

The results of these tests, they are showing the statistical clumping based on the body of results they have.

Quote:
Finally, the estimates are only as good as the reference panel which is used. I expect 23andme will have a very good reference panel, but if for some reason they don't have many Italians in the panel, then they will have a hard time identifying Italian-ness. For example, I did my own ancestry using 1000 genomes (a public database) as my reference panel, but 1000 genomes doesn't have any Eastern European people in it. So my ancestry came back as something like 66% Western European, and 33% random other stuff (middle eastern, African, Finnish, South Asian) which are almost certainly wrong. What happened was, the DNA that Eastern and Western Europeans share came back as Western European, but the parts that are uniquely Eastern European came back as whatever was closest in the reference panel.
very useful for people to read to understand.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
Why not? Out of all the countries in Europe, Italy seems to have, for lack of a better word, all the coolest shit. The best food, the best art, the best climate, the coolest cars, the finest clothes...arguably the most melodic sounding language....the most well-documented connections to ancient history probably of any country in Europe...
.
Well, the French will certainly argue about the best food, clothes and art, the Germans about the cars....
  #16  
Old 12-09-2018, 04:18 PM
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Mid Hat On

If you think the 23andMe tests are problematic or not worth doing skip this thread. Coming in an announcing it is threadshitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
Medical Genetic tests are private, by law.
23 And Me is a recreational genetic test.
You family's DNA is now available, for cash.
Interpret that.
  #17  
Old 12-09-2018, 04:22 PM
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Well, the French will certainly argue about the best food, clothes and art, the Germans about the cars....
And the Italians will beat them both at arguing, too.
  #18  
Old 12-09-2018, 04:56 PM
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Mid Hat On

If you think the 23andMe tests are problematic or not worth doing skip this thread. Coming in an announcing it is threadshitting.
My apologies.
  #19  
Old 12-09-2018, 05:12 PM
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My kids are doing it. I may. When I see what they have. It's kinda scary. Secrets will be revealed. The location of the cabbage patch I picked them from might surprise. Eeekk!
  #20  
Old 12-09-2018, 05:16 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is offline
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Your percentages may change as they expand and reinterpret their database. I took the test through Ancestry, and my results showed a substantial amount of Nigerian heritage, about 30%. A few months ago, they updated their methods and sent new results. That 30% had decreased by 29%. That was the most dramatic shift, but every one of the percentages changed, and some of the regions dropped entirely out of my results and were replaced with others.
  #21  
Old 12-09-2018, 05:34 PM
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They're running a holiday special.

I'm considering buying two tests for my mom & I.

My dad passed in 2013. It's too late to research that side of my ancestry.
  #22  
Old 12-09-2018, 06:46 PM
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They're running a holiday special.

I'm considering buying two tests for my mom & I.

My dad passed in 2013. It's too late to research that side of my ancestry.
Are any of his siblings alive? You could go that way.
  #23  
Old 12-09-2018, 06:55 PM
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My dad's sister is still alive. I'll see if she'll do the test.

Thanks
  #24  
Old 12-09-2018, 07:35 PM
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My $0.02 is, leave Dad alone and let him believe what he wants to believe and know what he knows. There's a thread about family secrets and I'm not saying Dad has any, but sometimes things are left unknown and unsaid. I've revealed some things to by siblings after my Mom passed away and it went well. But the secrets revealed when my Dad died caused a 20+ year rift and resentment of my family and that was only resolved because my Mom became seriously ill two years before she passed.

AFAIK, there are only 4 direct relatives (2 from Mom, 2 from Dad) left who could answer some questions we have about my parents. I'll never ask and I hope my siblings never will so we can let those answers pass with them.

Last edited by lingyi; 12-09-2018 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:20 PM
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Thinking about my wife's situation where there was a discrepancy because her ancestors lied about their country of origin, there’s also what Wikipedia calls "non-paternity events." The percentages seem to vary and I’ve found different figures cultures/time periods/etc, but figure four percent of the males in given family tree, uh, don't belong there. That kind of stuff adds up over time.

For a brief period after my mother died, I put a decent amount of time into my geneology and was always mildly frustrated knowing that even through the best efforts, by work was to some degree just a bunch of BS that got recorded for the sake of convenience.

There are also (presumably rarer) cases of maternal discrepancy, but I can’t find figures on that at the moment. This concept initially puzzled me, 'cause I’d think you'd know if you didn’t have a baby, but it encompasses cases like an accidental baby swap at the hospital, or things like raising someone else’s baby as your own due to the stigma of out-of-wedlock birth, etc. Rarer stuff, but it still happens.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:39 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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I have more Neanderthal variants than 94% of customers.

So I got that going for me.
  #27  
Old 12-09-2018, 08:41 PM
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DNA testing works on statistically likely probabilities. As this article from Scientific America states:

"When it comes to ancestry, DNA is very good at determining close family relations such as siblings or parents, and dozens of stories are emerging that reunite or identify lost close family members (or indeed criminals). For deeper family roots, these tests do not really tell you where your ancestors came from. They say where DNA like yours can be found on Earth today. By inference, we are to assume that significant proportions of our deep family came from those places. But to say that you are 20 percent Irish, 4 percent Native American or 12 percent Scandinavian is fun, trivial and has very little scientific meaning. We all have thousands of ancestors, and our family trees become matted webs as we go back in time, which means that before long, our ancestors become everyone’s ancestors. Humankind is fascinatingly closely related, and DNA will tell you little about your culture, history and identity."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ine-dna-tests/

As always, what you don't know or blindly accept as fact can come back to bite you!
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:44 PM
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I have more Neanderthal variants than 94% of customers.

So I got that going for me.
I'm waiting for a test that will me which group of apes I came from!
  #29  
Old 12-09-2018, 08:45 PM
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I heard that the results it gives you isn't really your ancestry so much as finding where people with the same markers currently reside. It may have someone in Iceland, but that's just because that person's mother moved there from France when she was 40 and now DNA records show her as being in Iceland, but not necessarily in any way Icelandic.

I'm not sure if that's strictly how it works, but if it is, the results can be misleading.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:06 PM
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Do these sites ask you for your best guess as to your ancestry, when you submit the tests? Even given that a lot of people have no clue, and that a lot of people have a clue, but the clue is wrong, it seems to me that, statistically, they could vastly improve their database in that way. They don't need to use a mere 1000 genomes (or whatever) as their reference sample, when they could use their entire customer base as a sample.
  #31  
Old 12-09-2018, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
My brothers and I are trying to convince my 90 year old dad to do it. He's the last one on his side left and our mom has passed too.

One of his problems with it, is that my results are not as Italian as he thinks they should be. Below are the pertinent results. I'm wondering if there is something about the testing itself or Italy as a country to come from that would explain it and convince him that it would support his proud Italian heritage.

Italian ........................ 1.5%
French/German........... 38.9
British/Irish ................30.3
Broadly NW European...17.8
Broadly Southern Euro....5.3
Broadly European ..........2.5
Iberian..........................2.2
What I actually think is... if your Italian percentage is 1.5%, then his test should come back at 3%. This will disappoint his expectations if he thinks he's any significant part Italian. If his test comes back at like 25% or higher, then congratulations, you probably have a paternity surprise somewhere uncomfortably close on your family tree.

My sincere advice... tell him that the company made a mistake and that the new results reflect exactly what he expected. Do not pester him to get a test and never mention it to him again.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:38 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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The results can change over time. I did he Ancestry test, and the original results had some surprises: I had a 25% chuck of UK (England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales) as expected, but only 37% Chinese (I expected 50%), plus 12-13% of Central Asia and Iberian Peninsula. A few months ago they added more reference lines (supposedly they use individuals with well-documented lineage confined to a particular area for six generations) and re-analyzed my results. This time I came back 25% UK, 50% Chinese, and 25% Italian (ignoring/rounding out some trace amounts).

I also got a close (1st/2nd) cousin match with a very Italian last name, and have been in contact with a more distant (3rd-5th) cousin whose parents are both from the region in Italy that Ancestry estimates that some of my ancestors originated. I do not know who my maternal grandfather was, but I'm pretty sure now that he was Italian.

I'm pretty sure that my bi-racial ancestry confused Ancestry's algorithm the first time around, but probably they added more Asian reference samples and that helped clarify things the second time around (I assume that they do some sort of best-fit of my DNA profile to the reference profiles and I got stuck in a local minimum the first time around).

My wife's results were a different surprise, due to dilution. She has a well-documented paternal line back to a German immigrant who came to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. His son took off for North Carolina and the family eventually ended up in Arkansas. My wife's DNA has no trace of German in it at all - she has a German last name but almost 100% English/Scottish ancestry.
  #33  
Old 12-10-2018, 10:49 AM
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After being unable to track anything about our father and realizing everything he told us about his background was a lie, my brother had his DNA tested. Turns out he is 1/4 Russian and 1/4 Inuit. Since my mother's background is pretty well established, that must be Daddy's contribution.

Who knew?
  #34  
Old 12-10-2018, 11:03 AM
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Go to 23and me's ancestry page, go down to the bottom and slide the
"Change confidence level" to "Conservative 90%" and I bet almost all of your results will change to "Broadly European"

These tests are highly biased based on their reference population, and are not as concrete as people believe.

Also note you are also almost certainly related to every European who was alive in the year 1000 which has living descendants. Europe is really really inbred and they are looking for small changes with limited data sets. While it can give you a notion of ancestry it is not a reliable test.

It makes money and may be more reliable than family stories if you get lucky but it is not even remotely reliable enough to destroy family relationships for almost all customers.

This page will also show how quickly DNA can "wash out"

https://isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_statistics

Note while still in the "for entertainment only" FTDNA's tests are a bit more accurate because they target ancestry but still are limited by the size of the dataset and the issues that people are horny, life is complicated and culture isn't a genetic trait.

Last edited by rat avatar; 12-10-2018 at 11:06 AM.
  #35  
Old 12-10-2018, 11:05 AM
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She blinded me with science!!

Family lore, passed down stories, etc. in many cases turn out to be just that...stories.
  #36  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:12 PM
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My Italian uncle took one of these tests - which being a proud Italian American (and somewhat of a racist) he expected to come back as 100% Italian.
Yeah... Because that's totally how it works...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian
...but only 37% Chinese (I expected 50%),...
There's no reason to expect that. Aside from the reasons other people have mentioned (shared genes, travelling ancestors, inaccurate catalogs) we also have a problem because we don't always inherit precisely 50% of their DNA from any parent. If you have Parent A and Parent B, your split might be 50/50, or it could be 25/75, or 99/1, or any other combination.
  #37  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:49 PM
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Anyway, why is everyone so obsessed with being "Italian," (whatever that means genetically)?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but in my experience (caveat caveat), whereas in the US we have a very distinct racial divide (with associated negative feelings), in Europe it seems to be expressed more as nationalistic divides. Rather than White vs. Black, etc., it is Italian vs. French vs. German vs. etc. So, questioning someone's Italian identity would be like questioning someone's White identity in the US.
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  #38  
Old 12-10-2018, 01:10 PM
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Mid Hat On
Do midichlorians show up on genetic tests?
  #39  
Old 12-10-2018, 01:38 PM
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Here is a link from a charity called Sense about Science that focuses on trying to provide information about the misrepresentation of science and evidence in public life. Hopefully a non-IMHO source will help.

https://archive.senseaboutscience.or...ry-Testing.pdf

Quote:
Even strong cultural boundaries, such as between the Germanic and Romance language groups in Europe, do not have very noticeable genetic differences. The more remote and less-populated parts of the UK, such as the Scottish Highlands, do have some genetic differences from the bulk of the population, but they are not big. There is no such thing as a ‘Scottish gene’. Instead groups show a story of gradual genetic change and mixing.
...
Where we can make a connection between a tribal group and a particular section of DNA, for example, we could say that if you carry it today there is a possibility that some of your ancestors were in that group.
Ancestry tests are trying to give people a simple answers to a complex chain of events. The results are in no way definitive, but can help with understanding the entire story; when combined with other data. As an example. even if the results are 100% valid a French/British ancestor could have moved to Italy and fully integrated into the culture and while family histories are also unreliable their children may have felt as "Italian" as much as many of us feel "American". Culture isn't genetic.

Last edited by rat avatar; 12-10-2018 at 01:39 PM.
  #40  
Old 12-10-2018, 02:17 PM
naita naita is offline
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The ethnicity estimates are wildly oversold by the companies, as they are what brings in customers.

I've had my DNA analyzed by all of the big ones for me, my father and paternal grandmother, and would not recommend anyone taking them to "find out 'what' they are". The ethnicity estimates are overrated and discussion groups are full of confirmation bias, "They perfectly fit my expectations!" and unnecessary despair "I got no German, that must mean grandma cheated on grandpa!"

You can look at where your matches are located and get better information about where at least some of your ancestors came from, but you can't compare those numbers, as having 10% of your non-US matches from Germany and only 5% from France may mean that testing is more popular in Germany, or just more popular with your German cousins.

What DNA can do is easily show paper trails in your immediate family correspond to who actually had babies with who. And with hard work it can also be used to discover links where paper trails don't exist, or prove more distant paper trails, but the more distant the relationship, the bigger the chance that people are just doing confirmation bias with these tools as well.
  #41  
Old 12-10-2018, 02:26 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Originally Posted by JB99 View Post
There's no reason to expect that. Aside from the reasons other people have mentioned (shared genes, travelling ancestors, inaccurate catalogs) we also have a problem because we don't always inherit precisely 50% of their DNA from any parent. If you have Parent A and Parent B, your split might be 50/50, or it could be 25/75, or 99/1, or any other combination.
Half my chromosomal DNA comes from my mother, half from my father. You might be thinking of grandparents. For each chromosome pair (other than XY) I get one from my father and one from my mother with certainty. However, of the one I get from my mother there is a 50% chance she got it from my maternal grandfather and 50% she got it from my maternal grandmother. The chromosome I got from my father could similarly be from my paternal grandfather or grandmother.
  #42  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:20 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is offline
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I'm a mixed bag and have always known it, but wanted details my parents either could not or would not provide. I considered both Ancestry's DNA test and 23 and Me, and went with 23 and Me.

I am reported to be:

44.6% broadly Northeast African/Arabian Peninsula (including: Eritrea, Sudan, Libya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen)
10.5% broadly Northwest African (including: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia)
20.8% broadly Northern European (including: Norway, Denmark, and Netherlands)
11.4% French / German
8.7% British / Irish
2.4% Iberian peninsula
1.1% East Asian
.5% Unassigned

It all makes sense to me. I am satisfied with my results.
  #43  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:24 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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Do these sites ask you for your best guess as to your ancestry, when you submit the tests? Even given that a lot of people have no clue, and that a lot of people have a clue, but the clue is wrong, it seems to me that, statistically, they could vastly improve their database in that way. They don't need to use a mere 1000 genomes (or whatever) as their reference sample, when they could use their entire customer base as a sample.
I've done several of these dna tests & 23 & Me is the only one that asked what I thought my ancestry was. However it was optional, so you didn't have to fill that portion out.
  #44  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:27 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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I'm not sure what you're implying here but I've never understood the people who criticize these DNA tests on the basis that "they have your DNA now" or whatever. I've gotten this from people when the subject of the 23andMe test comes up..."dude, how could you just give them your DNA?" OK, so "they" have my DNA, what the hell is anyone going to do with it? Why should I be concerned?
If you are a serial killer & you leave your dna at the crime scene, they could track you down through your relatives.
  #45  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:29 PM
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Note in that case a relative had uploaded the raw data to GEDmatch, which is an independent site and they opted in to voluntarily sharing data with the public.

That site changed their rules, and there is a question as to how it would work with 23andme but in this case there were no protections at all for that data.
  #46  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:42 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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And wouldn't that be a Good Thing?
  #47  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:27 PM
naita naita is offline
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Note in that case a relative had uploaded the raw data to GEDmatch, which is an independent site and they opted in to voluntarily sharing data with the public.

That site changed their rules, and there is a question as to how it would work with 23andme but in this case there were no protections at all for that data.
GEDmatch did not change their rules, at least not to prohibit law enforcement use. They did make the potential law enforcement use clearer and may have specified limits on it:

Message on top of main page:
Quote:
While the database was created for genealogical research, it is important that GEDmatch participants understand the possible uses of their DNA, including identification of relatives that have committed crimes or were victims of crimes. If you are concerned about non-genealogical uses of your DNA, you should not upload your DNA to the database and/or you should remove DNA that has already been uploaded.
Terms of service detail:
Quote:
Raw DNA Data Provided to GEDmatch

When you upload Raw Data to GEDmatch, you agree that the Raw Data is one of the following:



Your DNA;
* DNA of a person for whom you are a legal guardian;
* DNA of a person who has granted you specific authorization to upload their DNA to GEDmatch;
* DNA of a person known by you to be deceased;
* DNA obtained and authorized by law enforcement to either: (1) identify a perpetrator of a violent crime against another individual; or (2) identify remains of a deceased individual;
* An artificial DNA kit (if and only if: (1) it is intended for research purposes; and (2) it is not used to identify anyone in the GEDmatch database); or
DNA obtained from an artifact (if and only if: (1) you have a reasonable belief that the Raw Data is DNA from a previous owner or user of the artifact rather than from a living individual; and (2) that previous owner or user of the artifact is known to you to be deceased).


'Violent crime' is defined as homicide or sexual assault.

By registering for GEDmatch and using the Site, you agree that you will not upload Raw Data that does not satisfy one of these categories. If you have previously uploaded Raw Data that does not satisfy one of these categories, you hereby agree that you will remove it immediately.
  #48  
Old 12-10-2018, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Do these sites ask you for your best guess as to your ancestry, when you submit the tests? Even given that a lot of people have no clue, and that a lot of people have a clue, but the clue is wrong, it seems to me that, statistically, they could vastly improve their database in that way. They don't need to use a mere 1000 genomes (or whatever) as their reference sample, when they could use their entire customer base as a sample.
1000 Genomes is a "public catalogue of human variation and genotype data" and is often used as the basis for ancestry and other work in scientific studies. The subjects are all well characterized to be from the ethnicity/population they are assigned. They don't just find some random person in Spain, and call that the Iberian ideal.

Looking at the map on the link above, you can see there are lots of regions not covered by 1000 Genomes, and any of these genotyping companies will have their own reference samples they use to fill in those gaps.

And yes, 50% of your DNA comes from each parent (assuming no chromosomal abnormalities). But the 50% you share with sibs, 25% with grandparents, 12.5% with first cousins, etc. are just averages. You may just by chance be related more or less than 50% to your sibs. Also, the 25% of grandma's DNA that you have may be a different 25% than what your brother has, which explains why he is such an idiot.
  #49  
Old 12-10-2018, 08:16 PM
excavating (for a mind) excavating (for a mind) is offline
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I have few problems with these companies, which haven't mentioned, yet (at least, I don't think so).

First, many of these companies try to sell you on telling you your ethnicity. Sorry, your DNA isn't going to tell you your ethnicity. It can tell you things about your ancestry, but your ethnicity consists of the foods you like, the music you like, what holidays you observe. That is, the things about your heritage that are specifically NOT related to your ancestry, but to your social situations. OK, I understand that "ethnic" has become euphemistic for "racial" and in that sense, it might apply. I abhor euphemisms, though, specifically because they have a way of making changes to the meanings of words that do not follow any logical path.

Second, while your specific DNA doesn't have much value, the statistical value of a database of human DNA profiles is very large and becoming more valuable the more we learn about genetics. That is, while the company that collects this information probably will not use it for profit at your detriment, they will most assuredly use it for profit at SOMEBODY's detriment. By getting you to pay for the testing, but retaining the results for their profit seems a bit dishonest, or at least unethical, to me. Particularly when the results you get (what you pay for) are basically worthless (they admit as much), but what they get has the potential to be incredibly valuable.
  #50  
Old 12-10-2018, 09:35 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Somewhere on these forums, I think in the family secrets thread. A DNA test had some unexpected results and Grandpa admitted that someone had jumped the fence to be with Grandma before they got married. He married her anyway.

I see these DNA tests like those genealogy websites, dig far enough and darken a few blurred lines, and "Congratulations, you're descended from royalty!". Now, would you like to a buy a book and a plaque that shows that lineage?

Last edited by lingyi; 12-10-2018 at 09:36 PM.
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