Do you know your ethnicity? How do you really know that centuries of ancestors accurately passed down the stories of their origins? Perhaps you have records of your great great great grandparents arriving on a boat from Ireland. Perhaps you have a grandmother in the Daughters of the American Revolution group who diligently documented genealogy notes. Well, I thought that I knew my ethnicity, but learned that I was wrong when I took a DNA test through 23andMe. In today's post, I'll tell you about my experience.
The 23andMe service is really interesting. The company was founded by Anne Wojcicki. I look up to her as a role model because despite the ups and downs with her company, she stayed true to her big dreams and vision. In any case, the 23andMe service that she created is unique. The entire experience is very user-friendly. It starts by ordering the kit. (Don't pay full price though - get it through Groupon Deals.) You spit into a little test tube until you fill it to a line. You then seal the test tube and mail it back. The return package already includes prepaid postage. It's very easy. You the wait for them to process your sample and email you when the results are ready.
In my case, the results trickled in. I woke up excited to check my email each day as they emailed me that updates on my account were ready. I enjoyed learned about how my DNA reveal traits, health information, and my ancestry. Let me share some highlights.
The ancestry data revealed that my family didn't fully relay my ancestral history. I am a HUGE mix of ethnicities. It was amazing to confirm the ethnicities that I was told, but also to learn that I also had ancestors that were French, Italian, Scandinavian, and African. Who knew?! Well, I am sure that some of my ancestors knew, but this information was somehow lost over time. While my family's documentation may not have withstood the test of time, my DNA revealed this information. It was very cool to learn this info. I feel happy to be able to pass this data along to my children.
The 23andMe service also estimated various traits. It was fun to learn various things such as how I had a 10% chance of being blonde, 50% chance of dimples, and that I am more likely to be a deep sleeper. Some of the traits were true for me, but for those that had high chances and were not true for me, many matched my children. For instance, my oldest son has a dimple!
Some of the data was wacky and made me laugh. Genetically speaking, I guess that I should be overweight, but I am actually normal weight. It reports that I am likely to consume more caffeine than average, but I guess that this didn't happy because I am not a huge coffee fan. Their wacky prediction that my pee smells funny after I eat asparagus was correct. That made me laugh. I thought that this was true for everyone, but I never thought to discuss the issue.
The health data was also revealing. I'm still going through the results, but it is interesting to see the results for many major health concerns. This data motivates me to live a healthy lifestyle since I don't want to develop health problems that I may have a higher chance of struggling with due to genetics.
The 23andMe service incurs a one-time cost, but they have been adding more data over time. You are able to opt in to anonymously share your data. I love being part of a big project like this!
In summary, I had a lot of fun with the inexpensive and user-friendly 23andMe service. I think that it is great, especially for moms who want to share the data with their family members. If you think about it, America is a melting pot and it is a challenge to pass centuries of ancestry data from one generation to the next. The 23andMe service is a great way to confirm your records and/or to possibly learn about information that had been lost over the centuries. Again, if you are going to give it a try, don't pay full price. Visit Groupon to find the latest deals for 23andMe.