I recently had my exome sequenced through Helix for my birthday as a gift from my mother with Insitome’s Regional Ancestry kit to see what’s up with my DNA. My racial background is fairly unambiguous and much of my family is into genealogy as a hobby, so I wasn’t shocked by any of my results. It is neat to see what I got though:
Turns out all of my ancestry is in Europe. I had at least one Native American ancestor approximately 7 generations ago, but it’s not surprising they didn’t show given how little information you can get from single groups going back so far. To simplify it, you inherit 50% of your DNA from each of your parents, your parents inherent 50% of their DNA from their parents meaning you get 25% of your DNA from these people. If you go back 7 generations, you are inheriting DNA from 128 people (each person contributing 0.78% of their information to your genome). Some of this information is lost as it gets transferred down the line. The blog linked below explains it in a little bit more detail.
The really cool thing about Insitome is that they are pretty conservative in terms of who they’re grouping with you with, so they can push the history they give you pretty far back. With your results they give you a depth of information about each region which I think is an absolute score for anyone with an anthropological mindset.
I also went ahead and bought their Neanderthal kit which is far more comprehensive than the other ones I’ve seen on the market.
Turns out I’m pretty damn Neanderthal. They also link you to traits associated with Neanderthal gene variants. I have the Neanderthal alleles for pigmentation, learning, fat storage 😦 , and a some immune responses. I would have liked to see my maternal and paternal haplogroups listed (I know my maternal), but seeing as it appears they have a number of products in development I wouldn’t be surprised if that came up sometime soon.
I’m glad I went ahead and got this. The nice thing about Helix is that their product is based off of whole exome sequencing which is a complete sequence of all the coding regions in your DNA. Compared to 23andme or Ancestry which pick specific locations to genotype you at, you’re getting about 100 times the amount of genetic information they give you. The downside to this is that although you can get your raw DNA results from 23andme for free, Helix will charge you $500 for it.
I think my next step will be to buy a Bell Beaker drinking mug for myself off of Etsy.