Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Waiting Game...

Step One:  The Kit.
Image by National Geographic.
I'm sure I've mentioned here in the past about my hubby, and how he supports my crazy self 99% of the time. 

He's done it again.  For my birthday, which recently passed, he gifted me with a DNA kit from National Geographic's Genographic Project

Nothing says "genealogy geek" like a DNA kit as your birthday gift! 

But wow, was I ever excited as I tore open the box!  I read through all the paperwork, of which there was a good bit.  On the next weekend, I had breakfast, watched the clock to make sure I had nothing to eat or drink for an hour, then used the swabbing implement to scrap the inside of both cheeks. 

The directions say to swab "vigorously," but not so vigorously that blood is drawn.  No problem there, the swab had no sharp edges whatsoever.  Simply swab, unscrew the top of the tube, which has some sort of enzyme solution in it, and eject the DNA-containing swab into the tube.  Wait eight hours, repeat, using a second swab and tube.  So easy even a caveman could do it!  Wouldn't it be great if it could report back that many generations!

Step Two:  The Lab
Image by National Geographic.
As a double-X, I'm testing the mitochondrial (maternal) DNA, which is handed down, mother to child, with no changes whatsoever, generation after generation after generation, after generation.  You get the idea. 

Lucky for me that hubby runs a genetics lab at the local children's hospital.  I thank him for his input in helping me better understand this whole process and results.   Even though the website has good videos to explain the process, hubby's knowledge helped me tremendously. 

Step Three: The Results
Image by National Geographic.
The test will provide DNA markers, not specific countries of origin for my ancestors.  I already have a good idea of that.  This will give me the opportunity to learn about potential haplogroup matches of earliest human ancestors, and to contribute the results of my test to the Genographic Project.  The Project is mapping all the results to track human migration across the planet over the centuries.  The DVD that accompanies the test kit explains what is already known about the migration patterns; it's a fascinating trek

If you're at all interested, go to the website; it's full of very good information on all about the Genographic Project, genetics, the results to date, and more.

Nowhere in the kit did it give an idea of how long the process could take.  So my Friday night fun was a quick log-in to see where I stand.  I'm halfway home!

There are six stages in the processing of my material:
Kit Received  - Complete
Batch Created - Complete
DNA Isolated - Complete
DNA Analysis,
Quality Control, and
Results Uploaded. 

Soon I should know the whole haplo-whatever-group story of my earliest human ancestors, and where and how they lived.  Plus anything else that the Project throws into the results. 

And again, nothing says genealogy geek like "I can't wait to sit down with a cup of tea and decipher my DNA kit results!"


  1. It's so exciting to get DNA results!!

  2. I hit on this idea today after brainstorming something to buy my husband who is one of those impossible-to-buy-for guys; he either doesn't want anything or his toys are big-ticket. We love to watch PBS and National Geo, and I thought BINGO this will make an ideal xmas present. Very interested to see how long it takes you to get your results back.

  3. So exciting! Can't wait to hear your results.

  4. OK, I'm usually quite patient but not since I wrote this post! Just logged on and saw this message for the first time, so at least I have an idea of the wait time. I guess I have about another month to go:

    Most samples post results within eight weeks. In the event that your samples require more than eight weeks for processing, a message will appear on this page when you log in informing you of the status of your kit.

    Thanks for reading!