We are all special in our own quirky ways. How much does your DNA play a part in who you are? Perhaps you’re not who you think you are. If you’ve received DNA results from one of the major tests, y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA or autosomal DNA, you might already have a glimpse into what makes you special.
Beyond the big tests that give you distant paternal or maternal ancestry or a pie chart of your ethnic mix, there are many specific tests. What percent Neanderthal are you? There’s a test for that. The jury is still out on whether your Neanderthal genes are from a direct descendant or just shared from a common ancestor. When we start talking about what percent chimpanzee you are (yes, there’s a test for that) we are definitely talking about a common ancestor going back seven million years. Just to be clear, we are not descended from chimpanzees or any other living ape, but as cousins, we do share DNA.
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*The Deep Into DNA article series is published each month in The In-Depth Genealogist Newsletter and will demystify genetic genealogy and make sense out of DNA testing terminology. Each month we will talk about the types of tests available from major labs and show relevant examples on how to use DNA in your genealogy research.