DNA tests are propagated as something of a magic mantra that will let you know your origins all the way back to the beginning of time or give you insights into your propensity for diseases. In the process, several myths have arisen that are at variance with facts. You should be able to separate the chaff from grain this way.

Ancestry and lineage

Ancestry and lineage

Myth: DNA testing can trace you right back to your ancestors going back thousands of years.

Fact: DNA testing is of three kinds out of which autosomal DNA is employed for finding out ethnicity. Fact is each individual inherits half of DNA from the mother and half from the father so, at best, you can trace your roots to about 6 generations.

The Y-DNA test can go as far back as 10 generations through the male lineage whereas the mtDNA test traces the maternal line but the fact is only daughters pass the mtDNA to their offspring.

You need to provide sputum or blood

You need to provide sputum or blood

Myth: A common misconception is that you need to provide sputum or blood for DNA testing.

Fact: Just about all cells in the body can be acquired for DNA tests. A cheek swab is usually taken because it is easy.

Belonging to a Haplogroup


Myth: One myth debunked here, is that if your DNA test reveals you belong to a particular Haplogroup then you can claim someone as an ancestor.

Fact: DNA mixes down the generations, and belonging to a specific Haplogroup is no proof that someone is your ancestor. But may be extremely distantly connected in the origin.

Siblings will exhibit the same DNA test results


Myth: You may assume that you and your brother or sister if tested for DNA, will show the same results.

Fact: You inherit 50% DNA each from your father and mother but not 50% of their ethnicity. The previous DNA mix of parents is not passed down in equal proportion or percentage to siblings.

A child must be born to conduct DNA paternity test


Myth: One prevailing myth is that in the case of paternity suits or disputes, the child must be born before a DNA test can be conducted.

Fact: These days prenatal DNA testing is possible through amniocentesis and CVS but these are invasive methods. A better way is a non-invasive prenatal paternity test. This test can be conducted as early as the 8th week of pregnancy, well within the time when an abortion can be induced should the mother so desire it.

DNA test is expensive


Myth: A prevailing myth is that DNA testing is very expensive and resorted to only by those flush with funds.

Fact: It is a fact that in the earlier stages of DNA testing when only a few labs were offering this test and testing was complicated, it was expensive.

However, these days one can buy DNA test kits for about $5 to $10 and pay for the test results. These are priced to be affordable for just about everybody so much so that you need not resort to DNA test for legal compliance. You can do it just for fun to know your DNA, your propensity for diseases and your lineage.