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Family Tree DNA Vs 23andme: Genealogy for the Masses

A lot has happened since Gregor Mendel discovered genetics in the late 1800s.
Scientists have been able to map the full human genome, leading to a clearer understanding of health and environmental risks.
Technology is also available for tracing our ancestral origins and finding potential relatives.
One issue with exhaustive DNA testing is the prohibitive cost in the range of thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, there exists alternative small-scale DNA testing that can reveal a wealth of information at much lower rates.
These laboratory services are now being offered by several companies, some of the leading ones being Family Tree DNA and 23andme.
23andme The 23andme testing process begins with placing a spit sample inside their kit.
This is then mailed back to their labs for testing which can take up to 8 weeks but usually gets completed within 2 weeks.
Results are then posted online in the client's private account.
23andme tests for the maternal origins using SNP and people can see the distribution of their ancestors hundreds of years ago on a world map.
They have a Relative Finder section in which users can opt in to view possible matches and be able to contact these people to explore the connection further.
However, the real focus of 23andMe is not in tracing origins but in finding genetic predispositions to diseases.
Users get the chance to know their likelihood of developing cancers, heart ailments, and much more.
Such knowledge would theoretically enable them to modify their lifestyle choices for prevention.
Those interested can get occasional 23andme discount coupons from their site and other sources.
Family Tree DNA In contrast, Family Tree DNA lives up to its name by offering multiple testing services all geared at helping clients trace their ancestral origins.
There are tests that dig deep into the paternal side and equivalent ones for the maternal side of the family.
They have different options for men and women, as well as a tiered pricing scheme depending on the level of the testing.
The Family Finder service, which connects users to their database, costs a separate fee.
The samples are stored in their labs located at the University of Arizona for free so future testing is always possible in case more advanced technologies are developed.
Conclusion Although both companies offer DNA testing and have overlapping services, they really cater to different audiences.
23andme would likely attract those who are conscious of their health and want to discover their own genetic predispositions.
Meanwhile, Family Tree DNA is more suited to people who want the most exhaustive means available to trace their ancestry.

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