Friday, January 27, 2017

Where Did I Come From: Results

About a month after I sent in my DNA (spit) to, I got my results. The results weren't a big surprise or anything. However, I did get an interesting confirmation of sorts. I wrote about it in the last entry I wrote about taking the DNA test and I'm going to reference it again. People love to argue that "Jewish" isn't an ethnicity, it's a religion. It is a religion. Even DNA considers it an ethnicity though. I realized another reason how or why.

Here are my results first:

Notice, my "Ethnicity Estimate" is eighty-eight percent European Jewish. I wasn't given a specific country. But somehow, scientists who do this work with DNA to determine ethnicity, can give me the specific that my ancestors were Jewish.

When two Jewish people get married and decide to try to have a baby, the obstetrician/gynecologist gives you a script for a "Jewish Panel" blood test. I'm putting the clinical information below instead of trying to explain it myself.

Clinical Background
The Ashkenazi Jewish panels detect mutations associated with disorders that commonly occur in Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European Jewish) individuals (see below). Two panels are offered: 1) a 4-test panel, which includes the genetic tests recommended by ACOG and ACMG (for Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, and Tay-Sachs); and 2) an 11-test panel, which also includes tests for 7 other diseases common among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals. The panels simplify test ordering for Ashkenazi Jewish individuals who wish to know their carrier status and/or their risk of having a child with any of these disorders. It is most frequently used for Ashkenazi Jews and their partners who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. Since all of these disorders are autosomal recessive, both parents must be carriers for the couple to have an affected child. If one partner is Ashkenazi Jewish and the other is not, sequential screening, beginning with the Ashkenazi Jewish individual, is recommended. 

So it really is about blood. Atheist or not, I still have Jewish in my DNA. That, is why it's an ethnicity. For the millionth time, I don't have a country. Well, I do. I'm American. But if we're talking ancestors, where other people get countries of origin, I just have a whole general area. If you look at the map, we're talking Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, you name it. All of Eastern Europe is in there. It's not like you can say- "well, they're all the same". No, they're not. People from each one identify with their own country if they are first or second generation. Also, those countries have plenty of people born and raised in each that aren't Jewish. My DNA is unique to Eastern European Jewish but not to a specific country. That's why if you ask me- What are you?, my answer is- Garden variety American Jew. Seinfeldian Jew, if you will. 

I didn't learn anything I didn't know. I thought maybe I'd get a country. Narrowed down a little bit at least. The cool thing is they give you people who have a high probability of being related to you. I immediately got messages from people who say they are somehow related. It's definitely interesting. I don't have a lot of time to investigate with all these fourth or fifth cousins, once removed (not sure what that even means yet), but they'll be there when I do find some time. 
I don't like that I paid for the test, then have to pay for more information, because they obviously suck you in that way. To do your family tree is free, but to check out other people's trees, you have to pay. I can't see the trees of the people who have contacted me unless I pay some membership fee. I probably will pay, eventually, when I have time to use it, otherwise, doing the test and just coming up "European Jew" doesn't get me much further than what I knew. At least I have options now though. I'm glad I did the test. It's cool to know. Or even just to validate. I'm sure for people with skeletons in their closet, adoption, or whatever- it can be a really put the pieces of an ancestry puzzle together. 

I was doing some research on the test vs 23 and Me. Both Ancestry and 23 and Me have the ethnicity DNA test for around the same cost. 23 and Me does an added health history component for an extra one hundred dollars. The consensus was to do first because it's more user friendly and automatically connects you with possible relatives. 23 and Me is much more limited with that information apparently. But if you're really interested in your ancestral and health history, to do 23 and Me after you do the Ancestry one. I want to do 23 and Me also for comparison to and for the health component, but I don't have an extra two hundred laying around. I think I will eventually do it though. Just to have. In any event, I feel like it was money well spent.

If you want the ten percent off your test and/or to buy one as a gift, use my link-

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