#21: Genetic Testing

Becky and I don’t have a ton of information about our family trees. We don’t have a comprehensive family tree, curated by generations of careful record-keepers, detailing the exact nature of our familial relationship to Abraham Lincoln.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2017 challenge. Click on the photos for a closer look!

So when we signed up for 23andMe, we didn’t know what we were going to get. If you’re not familiar, 23andMe is a genetic testing company, which will take a DNA sample from you and analyze it, giving you all the information that they can deduce from that sample.

You may or may not know this about us, but we’re not huge gift-givers. That isn’t either of our love languages, so on most holidays where you would normally unwrap things, we tend give each other experiences. 23andMe wasn’t cheap, but it fits in this category – it’s not a thing, but an experience, and it made a perfect way to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary!

Our kits arrived, and we filled the little vials with saliva and sent them back. Then we waited. DNA testing is not a fast science.

What came back is fascinating. It’s amazing how much can be said about you just from your DNA. For example, in my report it showed that the British/Irish part of my DNA (59.8% of me) emigrated to the U.S. somewhere between 1890 and 1950, and the French/German portion (13.2%) came over a bit earlier, 1860-1920.

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Becky’s report is slightly different: her British/Irish ancestry (also 59.8%) is from the same time period as mine, but her French/German (10.4%) is from earlier (1830-1890), and there’s a tiny bit of Scandinavian DNA (5.2%) from 1770-1860.

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(Interestingly, we got these results as we were hiking in Ireland, which gave us even more reason to enjoy our surroundings.)

Our reports also included health information, which revealed that we don’t carry the genetic variants for any major diseases, like cystic fibrosis, or sickle cell anemia. We’re also in good shape when it comes to genetic disorders, like macular degeneration and Parkinson’s. Good to know!

Was this information super useful in our daily lives? Not really. But it did give us some clues as to where we came from, and an interesting insight into how genetics work. The kits weren’t cheap, but we feel like this was an adventure worth going on.

One thought on “#21: Genetic Testing

  1. Pingback: 100 Things in 2017 | Band of Charac­ters

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