DNA Tests Available To The Genealogist
We need to be aware at the outset, that there are limitations in using current DNA identification techniques. Genetic comparisons can determine if a person is related to another living human being, but can not yet determine the degree of the blood relationship. With that said, there are two basic DNA tests that are of interest to the family genealogist.
The Y-Chromosome Test
The Y-chromosome, in the nuclear DNA of every living male homo sapien, resembles that of his father, his paternal grandfather, etc., and is carried by male cousins of any degree that share the same male ancestor. It creates a clear profile, known as a haplotype, that distinguishes one male-to-male lineage from another.
The Y-chromosome Test Can Help Determine:
For more detail on the Y-Chromosome, click on the University of Leicester (UK), Genetics Department web site at http://www.leicester.ac.uk/genetics/maj4/project.html
There is a second article authored by Neil Bradman and Mark Thomas of The Centre for Genetic Anthropology at University College London that will provide more knowledge regarding the Y-Chromosome. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/tcga/ScienceSpectra-pages/SciSpect-14-98.html
The Mitochondrial Test (mtDNA)
The mitochondrial test looks at the DNA signature of mitochondria, a special part of nearly all human cells, which is passed on, female-to-child and inherited down the female line. It is generally used to study long-term population developments such as migrations.
The Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Test:
This Page Was Last Updated: 06/07/2005