DNA Testing – Right or Wrong?

Four friends who experiment with life’s modern options called The Try Guys recently decided to find out just what their DNA consists of, and they filmed the results for YouTube. In the film, Zach, Keith, Eugene and Ned – spoke about where they thought their families came from. For the most part, this was northern Europe, apart from Eugene who claimed to be 100% Korean. They provided two millimetres of spit for the company 23andme to analyse and then the revelations started.

The most dramatic result was Eugene. His DNA showed he was only 63.1% Korean, the rest of his make-up largely being Japanese and Chinese. When he asked how far back this could date, the researcher told him it was likely to be as recent as great-grandparents and even a grandparent. The others results were more or less as expected, although Ned discovered he wasn’t quite as Italian as he’d always thought – 18.4%, instead of 50%. His ancestry also revealed Native American DNA.

DNA testing has become much more affordable and is very fashionable nowadays. In this country, you can spend as little as £60+ for a report that tells you your ethnic origins. Is it accurate and worth splashing out for? In 2013, a group of scientists warned that ancestry tests have little scientific backing, and labelled the tests unreliable and inaccurate. Professors David Balding and Mark Thomas from the University College London went so far as to put out a public statement from the Sense About Science campaign group, saying it wasn’t possible to look at DNA and read it “like a book or a map of a journey” without the supporting historical evidence.

If you go back ten generations through any family history, you will have more than 1,000 ancestors.The scientists say that the history you get from a testing company could be given to thousands of others who have a similar background. And there are many different possible interpretations of DNA tests. Most of the information that you can take from results is about the genetic history of a whole population, and not individual family trees. We all have more ancestors than we have sections of DNA (DNA is an assortment of genetic sequences), so there are many ancestors from which we inherit no DNA.

So, while finding out your ancestry through a DNA test might prove surprising, it’s best not to dispute your parents or grandparents knowledge just yet… Finders International can verify family trees. We provide impartial, accurate advice that can help you fill in any gaps in your ancestry. To find out more, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7490 4935.