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The accuracy of Ancestry DNA testing

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by soulgeezer, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    About a year ago, I think I posted about my mom's DNA test results. Her brother had given her the Ancestry DNA test as a present. She spit in the bottle, sent it in, and three months later got her results.

    In short, we were VERY surprised by what they told her: They said she was 53% Italian, a smattering of Iberian (Spanish), Middle Eastern (in this case, North Africa), and... combined, about 43% Eastern European Jew! (I don't know how you geographically pin down a religion like that, but that's what they said.)

    Well, we checked again last week and Ancestry had updated her results:

    94% Italian (Sicilian from the province of Palermo), 5% Greek (makes sense, being Sicilian and all), and 1% Middle Eastern (from North Africa, which also makes perfect sense, being Sicilian and all).

    So, in less than a year, we've lost our Jewish heritage that we never knew we had -- I'm so sad! And, the results reflect exactly what we had known all along before we ever sent in the test.

    The explanation on the Ancestry site says that, when they first did the test, they had 3,000 reference samples. Now, they have almost 20,000, which obviously altered the results.

    I wonder how it will change when they have 100,000 samples?

    This is a just an illustration of why I've always said that these tests are a novelty at best. My uncle, whose results from 23 and Me differed from my mom's, freaked out and now believes his father was cheating on his mother. With no evidence. (Yeah, he tends to overreact to things -- He's still a great guy, so we don't hold it against him.) All because of a test that is so unreliable that the results can change significantly in less than a year.

    (And, as I've said before, I don't know why people put so much stock in their ancestry anyway. I couldn't care less about a bunch of people I never knew existed or a country that I have no history with or real knowledge of. As an American, my cultural history is British; I can tell you what was happening in England in 1066 and 1215, but ask me what was going on in Italy during those times and I have no freakin' idea.)

    Has anyone else taken one of these tests and had a similar experience?
     
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  2. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    Accuracy and money seldom are equal.
     
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  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Some backgrounds have little or no samples in this database.

    We know there's more genetic diversity in Africa alone than in all the peoples of every other region or Continent, and yet most of these groups are almost entirely absent from the 23 and Me database.

    This is kind of a "If you build it, they will come" but until a LOT more people come, the results could be horribly inaccurate.

    Let's say you're from a lineage where several terrible genetically traced diseases are known to be present. You're going to participate in numbers way out of proportion to some other lineage where for them the coast is mostly clear. If there's 1,000 X more people from this potentially problematic line, then the 23 and Me people are going to assume large numbers of the remaining participants are from this line also.

    In sum: Garbage In/Garbage Out.

    Hey. I don't really need to know this stuff anyway. And I sure enough don't want to be a guinea pig for some corporation. Already too many Family Fables in my background - better to take it easy for a while.
     
  4. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try it again under a different name. I bet you get different results yet again.:)
    Don't be surprised if they ramp up the social engineering program in your area and you get a bunch of new neighbours moving in over the next few years.;)
     
  5. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I know mine would formulate
    from Mom
    Scot, Druid, Irish , Welsh, Viking and possible Italian ( that roman thing that happened in Scotland) and Jacobite
    from Dad
    Neandertal, French European , First Nations, Lunatic, and Loup-Garou.......

    there now I saved me 100.00 and I didnt spit int a bottle and place it into mailbox, plus my my DNA is out side the national DNA data base
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  6. Gibson

    Gibson Friend of Leo's

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    My understanding is that the ancestry readings from these tests are to a degree statistical and based on probabilities, so there's plenty of room for error/misunderstanding. Here's a related quote:

    Scientists can make inferences about your ancestry based on trends among populations, but they can’t say for sure that your ancestors lived in a specific country, much less a specific town. Testing companies analyze a person’s genetic makeup by comparing his or her DNA to a reference database of DNA samples from modern individuals living in various regions—such as residents of present-day African countries. . . . But it’s important to keep in mind that today’s inhabitants of a given region are genetically different from the people who lived there before migration occurred. Just because your DNA matches the DNA of someone who currently lives there, that doesn’t necessarily mean your ancestors came from that place. Likewise, your DNA might match that of a modern-day African tribe, but your ancestors may not have identified with that particular group.
     
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  7. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't need to do this silly stuff to know I am descended from proud Viking warrior-king stock. I mean, it's obvious.
     
  8. eyerish

    eyerish Tele-Holic

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    My family came from Ireland and wales (and maybe Germany but whos countin right lol)
    So we are hip to that point back and good enough.

    My son did i think the same as in the op's post and it verified what we already knew half Irish nearly half eskimo and a few less then 1 percenters.

    So you know its cool........i guess
     
  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Mine came back with 2 or 3 of my first and second cousins as my first and second cousins. I didn't even know they did the dna test and some of them I haven't even met , but I know them by name. That's accurate enough for me.

    As I mentioned in the last Ancestry thread a week or so ago. I am finding out I actually had some relatives despite no information from my father. I think that's pretty cool.

    I just yesterday, for the first time, saw my grandfather's brother's gravestone via findagrave. It's in the same cemetery as my grandfather and grandmother and I never knew that.
     
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  10. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's

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    Mine said that I was a descendant of Luke Skywalker, good thing I'm a gearhead.

    Tinfoil hat? mines machined from a block of stainless steel.
     
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  11. cc50fralin

    cc50fralin Tele-Holic

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    I believe this stuff is 100% accurate; I know it is!

    Most of you at this site really don't know me, but allow me to share this tid-bit of information with you from my youth.

    I was always very athletic, VERY ATHLETIC!

    A long time ago, I tried out for, and was accepted by a Major League east-coast baseball team.

    Nobody could play the outfield like me; nobody could run after that ball like me! NOBODY!

    Then, I found out why: I'm part beagle!

    This also explains why I like to make in the woods, and then cover it! :D

    I'd chat a little longer, but my wife just made soup.

    She's a good woman, she always saves the bones for me! :D

    Mike
     
  12. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I wonder how this stuff tracks those of us who have multiple past lives? For example would my time as an Assyrian king show up in the DNA test? Or my time as a Knight Templar?
     
  13. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    How much raping and pillaging were you doing in those days? It would probably affect the results.
     
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  14. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

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    If you have always been told you have native American blood but want to be sure, good luck. There are not enough "racial samples" as they say to determine that. My grandmother was so Cherokee a blind man could see it. My DNA test showed no Cherokee, but 1.6 % West African. I think these tests are to real DNA tests what a tricycle is to a Harley.
     
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  15. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Best keep that under wraps or your taxes might go up.;)
     
  16. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not game to do the test, I have a feeling they will red flag me, send a unmarked van around to carry me off and make me spend the rest of my days being milked of my precious DNA.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  17. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    They only dissect ETs.

    Wait...

    Oh!
     
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  18. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    They can have my third testicle for free if they just let me live the rest of my days free and in peace.:)
     
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  19. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you like BS, yeah then it’s accurate.
     
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  20. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    "I'm not sending my DNA to someone I don't know for who knows what outcome and cloning and privacy and tracking and yadda yadda conspiracy and..." :mad: (whatever other cranky old overly-suspicious man boilerplate remarks soon to come...)
     
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