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Frequently Asked Questions


As a woman, can I trace my paternal ancestry?

Yes, with our Y DNA analysis, which requires a male saliva sample. You can provide this by sending us a sample from your father. Alternatively, if your father is not available, you can send us a sample from your brother or your paternal uncle. Generally, any male family members who have the same family name will have inherited the same Y-chromosome. You can directly order a Y DNA test in the Prices & Ordering menu.

How far back can I trace my mtDNA roots?

An exact match with a sample in the database will indicate the same maternal ancestor at some point in the last 10,000 years on average. Moreover, by mathematically reconstructing mtDNA types ancestral to yours, we can investigate your motherline's geographic movement over the last 130,000 years.

What if I don't have any exact matches?

At the current state of the database, we estimate that 84% of customers will have exact matches, and 95% will get very close matches.
As the database grows, more people will obtain exact matches.

How is mitochondrial DNA different to DNA?

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) makes up our genetic material, and carries instructions for the biochemical processes of development and life. It comprises a double-stranded chain/sequence of c. 3,000,000,000 bases. Four types of bases are present in DNA, their chemical names are: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. Mitochondrial DNA is a relatively simple stretch of DNA made up of about 16,570 bases. Unlike nuclear DNA, it is not unique, in that it is shared by many generations of the same motherline.

Is my DNA result used in the database?

Absolutely not. The database is based on samples that have been obtained from scientific studies of native populations from all over the world, and from people where there has been no movement in their recorded history. Your DNA may or may not be a reliable source of information for the database, and for that reason it will not be used.

What happens to my DNA after it has been analysed?

After analysis your sample is destroyed. Only you see the results for your sample. The data is held under the Data Protection Act, which provides that the data cannot be divulged to third parties.

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