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23&Me?

JustaMomJustaMom 2723 replies98 threads Senior Member
Long story short, I spit in the cup this morning and my sample is on its way to be analyzed.

Growing up my mother suffered with mental illness, so my grandmother and my mother's "baby sisters" (at the time 15 and 17) jumped in to help raise my older brother and me (early 1960s).

One of my aunties is now a genealogist, and has been asking (dare I use the term begging) me to do a proper DNA test. I'm the last hold out in my family. Well, said auntie has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and as her dying wish has once again asked (begged) me to test. I agreed. Not particularly thrilled with the whole thing, but I do hope at some point I can appreciate the information. I opted for the full caboodle.

Anyone else do the 23&Me?
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Replies to: 23&Me?

  • Midwest67Midwest67 3088 replies13 threads Senior Member
    No, I have not done it, but a friend of mine just had a screening done at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago.

    She had a relative pressing her to test & her doctor wrote the order. I don't recall what in particular they were looking for -- maybe a familial susceptibility to cancer??

    Good luck and good health @JustaMom !
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  • JustaMomJustaMom 2723 replies98 threads Senior Member
    @MWolf - with my aunt's blessing I submitted anonymously. She will have access to the results and use it as she feels. In addition I absolutely read every word and ticked the boxes that protect me...to the best of my ability. I knew the risks which is why it took me so long to agree.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 39055 replies469 threads Senior Member
    Even if you submitted anonymously, if enough of your relatives also send in a sample, it would be a as easy as spitting on the ground to figure out where the DNA you sent in came from. :)
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  • MWolfMWolf 1700 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Even if you submitted anonymously, if enough of your relatives also send in a sample, it would be a as easy as spitting on the ground to figure out where the DNA you sent in came from. :)

    The people looking to mine the data and the people who may misuse the data will rarely start doing that detective work. Only in the OP's DNA pops up at a crime scene will somebody go to the trouble to figure out who it is.

    @JustaMom I assume that you don't have to worry about that?
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  • JustaMomJustaMom 2723 replies98 threads Senior Member
    @MWolf - nothing to see here...
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18574 replies325 threads Senior Member
    I did 23andme.. The results were quite boring -- no suprises, nothing to write home about -- but I enjoy taking their various quizes from time to time. I feel like I'm helping them to identify stuff through DNA.
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  • stradmomstradmom 5041 replies50 threads Senior Member
    I did 23&me, despite concerns about the privacy issue, and got results that confirmed that my family had indeed been telling me the truth about our heritage all these years.

    But I know people who've had interesting results or connected with relatives they didn't know they had.
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  • twomoosetwomoose 102 replies1 threads Junior Member
    The 2008 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act GINA) prohibits discrimination based on genetic information in both health insurance and employment.

    Note that GINA doesn't protect against discrimination with respect to long-term care insurance though. I won't give my DNA to 23andme (or anyone else) because many of these gene tests identify risk factors for diseases. They won't tell me that I will get the disease.
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  • mikemacmikemac 10361 replies150 threads Senior Member
    edited October 14
    JustaMom wrote: »
    One of my aunties is now a genealogist, and has been asking (dare I use the term begging) me to do a proper DNA test. I'm the last hold out in my family.
    What was her goal? To build a family tree or to screen for genetically linked issues?

    ancestry.com has been better to me for building a family tree, with tools that 23andme doesn't offer. The people I match with on ancestry.com have been more responsive to emails thru the site seeking to explore how we might be related than on 23andme (I tested on both sites). Additionally ancestry.com offers (at additional cost) research tools into digitized records and newspaper clippings.

    edited October 14
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 39055 replies469 threads Senior Member
    If you are the last holdout, why does your DNA matter? It is absolutely not needed to fill any blanks.
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  • JustaMomJustaMom 2723 replies98 threads Senior Member
    @mikemac - both, the family tree and genetically linked issues.
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  • JustaMomJustaMom 2723 replies98 threads Senior Member
    @BunsenBurner - it's complicated, but yes, my DNA can help connect some dots.
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  • Data10Data10 3048 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited October 14
    @mikemac - both, the family tree and genetically linked issues.
    I've also done 23AndMe. I agree that for family tree, Ancestry is far superior. And for genetically linked issues, I found https://promethease.com/ to be far more useful than the medical reports on 23AndMe . Promethease can read the raw data file from 23AndMe, Ancestry, FamilyTree, and others. However, if your family is already on 23AndMe, then that's the one to choose.

    I personally found the 23AndMe reports interesting, which was my main reason for doing the test. Reviewing the site today, I see that the ancestry reports have been much improved since I last visted, particularly with the options to choose a sliding scale varying from 90% conservative to 90% speculative. With the most conservative estimates, I get 71% European composed mostly of "broadly northwestern European" and "broadly European." With the most speculative estimates, I get 78% European composed mostly of British/Irish and French/German. The specific percentages match my rough expectations, aside from lack of Native American. They still don't have many Native American samples to test against, so Native American information is unlikely to be accurate.

    While 23AndMe doesn't have the community size or activity of Ancestry, they still have a large sample of users. It shows over 1000 DNA relatives for me, but only ~20 with strength 3rd cousin or higher. By reviewing shared ancestry, which DNA segments match, information users provide, and messaging other site members; you can often figure out by which path the other user was related. This includes challenging and non-obvious situations for which there are not traditional records, such as adoptions and name changes to avoid persecution.

    The health and traits are easier for the layperson to read and digest than Promethease and can still provide interesting information. For example, my report says increased risk of familial hypercholesterolemia due to R3527Q variant in the APOB gene. I already knew this was present, so I can confirm accuracy.

    They also provide many interesting DNA characteristics that are unrelated to diseases, such as what flavor of ice cream you are more likely to prefer or mosquito bite frequency. You can also review frequency of characteristics among DNA relatives. For examples, my DNA relatives show a much higher frequency than average of being life guards and having red hair.

    Overall I found the benefits to be worth the costs for me (both financial and risk of DNA being in the system).
    edited October 14
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  • MWolfMWolf 1700 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I used Ancestry for my parents, since, as an Ashkenazi Jew, anything farther than a fourth cousin becomes questionable, and even that is questionable - according to Ancestry.com, my mother has over 35,000 4th cousins (including the 4th-6th cousin category). Of course, the majority are much more distant, but are 7th or 8th or further cousins from multiple lineages.

    That is why I used my parent's DNA - it allows me to verify at least MY third cousins, and a few of my further relatives. I also uploaded the data to GEDmatch which calculated relations using the length of the shared DNA strands, which allows a more accurate matching for a couple more generations, in some cases.
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  • wis75wis75 14108 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Physician couple here. H did his years ago, had our only son do it when kits were on sale. Waiting for the next sale for me.

    Remember that nothing is infallible- just because a genotype is LIKELY to have traits doesn't mean the are going to exist for you. Example- baldness. Sorry, genes, but H got it. Can lead to checking on some things that may matter- a good thing.

    I don't worry about data.

    Haven't bothered with Ancestry since we know where various ancestors came from. I'm a north European mongrel who likely improved the genetic diversity for half Indian son.
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