Last Christmas my parents bought me a 23andme DNA test. As I unwrapped the gift my step father, in classic dad joke fashion, looked me square in the eye and said “Luke, I’m not your father.” He then proceeded to laugh hysterically. I never particularly minded the bombardment of star wars jokes growing up, but if there ever was an appropriated time he definitely nailed it.
Anyways, I just received my results and thought it would be fun to share them here. 23andMe breaks their reports down into 3 major categories: Ancestry,Traits and Wellness. I won’t go through every detail they provided, but I’ll highlight the parts I found most interesting.
More than 80% of my ancestry is British & Irish (56.5%) and Broadly Northwestern European (24.7%) which are descendants from countries like Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway and Iceland. The next biggest chunk is French & German (14.2%) and finally Native American (1.1%). Other European ancestry fell under (1%) and everything else was less than .1%
One of my grandfathers had kept a pretty thorough record of his families genealogy so it was cool to see the DNA test reflect that very accurately. And it just so happened that it was one of his grandmothers or one of my great-great grandmothers that was Native American. He often shared stories about her growing up in the 1800’s which were always fascinating to listen to.
Perhaps the most interesting discovery was the amount of Neanderthal DNA variants I had. Most people with European ancestry have between 1 – 4% in their DNA and I seemed to fall on the higher end of that scale. In addition, I inherited the specific Neanderthal trait of having less back hair (can’t complain about this hehe). For those interested in how they determined the Neanderthal trait: marker rs4849721 near the EIN gene showed a change from a G to a T. It was a lot of fun looking at the raw data despite having an elementary understanding of genetics.
The ancestry reports also provided information about Haplogroups. In simplest terms, Haplogroups are maternal or paternal lineages that descend from a single common ancestor. Haplogroups help shed light on the origins of some of our ancient ancestors and on their migrations over tens of thousands of years.
My maternal line belongs to the Haplogroup K2a3.
Origin: K2a3 is a subgroup of K. K split off the more ancient haplogroup U8 about 35,000 years ago. Since then, haplogroup K has been involved in migrations from the Near East into Europe. Notably, particular branches of haplogroup K are part of the founding and expansion of the majority of Ashkenazi Jewish populations. K is found in 6% of Europeans.
My paternal line belongs to the Haplogroup R-M412
Origin: R-M412 is a subgroup of R-M269. R-M269 is the most common haplogroup in western Europe, where its branches are clustered in various national populations, including in the Basque, in Ireland, and on the fringes of the North Sea. R-M269 is found in more than 50% of men in western Europe.
The wellness reports show how your DNA may influence how you respond to certain lifestyle and environmental factors. I laughed out loud when I read I was “Likely consumes more caffeine” and “less likely a deep sleeper.” Extremely accurate, but at least I know why I’m a tea/coffee addict and don’t sleep very well now. Curse you DNA!
The rest of the report was pinpoint accurate as well with the only questionable one being my muscle composition being “likely sprinter.” I always felt I was better at endurance running, but that could just be my long distant running bias speaking. Athleticism in the form of diet, training, and other genetic factors can also play a major role in muscle performance.
The Traits Reports are a fun way to learn about how your DNA influences your physical appearance, preferences, and physical responses. The predictions are based on current knowledge of how genetic factors influence our traits. The list is really long so I just posted a portion of some of the traits they covered.
No big surprises here, but there’s certainly a lot of interesting statistics. My paternal lineage (father, fathers father, grandfathers father) all share blue eyes and my mom has hazel eyes, so it was interesting to see these percentages. I have blue eyes (or maybe greenish blue) and my sister has hazel eyes. As far as I can tell I inherited all of the majority percentage traits with the one exception being the coin flip for earlobe type. Attached earlobes are clearly better 😉
Well that about wraps it up! Each report goes into a lot detail and there’s still several reports I’m eager in dissecting further. Overall it was a really fun experience and I definitely recommend it!