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Ethnicity Testing Where Has Your DNA Been

04/07/2017, 10:20am EDT
By Lance Braithwaite

Have you ever wondered about your ethnic origin? Do you know for sure where all your ancestors were from and which countries' histories were a direct influence on the people who made you who you are? 

I've always known I'm Canadian, but not until recently did I wonder: am I part Finnish?

It was just last week when I was broadcasting to the world on MSN that I was "60% Finnished" a personal project when I became truly intrigued about my heritage. What I was trying to tell the world was that I was 60% finished a large-scale car engine endeavor; however one of my friends that HAS to be right about everything pointed out that I wasn't spelling correctly. Was I just a bad speller or could it be that I was sending out an underlying message about my own self?  I facetiously pointed out to Ms. Always-right that it was conceivable I was a descendant of Finland, and that perhaps she was wrong for once. But was it really true? I've always loved Finland's flashy flag; I can't seem to get enough of the Finnish rhubarb stew; and on top of it all, I keep christening custom toboggans in the name of Finland. How could I find out if I really am Finnish?

 

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A good friend showed me that there is hope! Ethnicity testing is available to me and anyone else with similar curiosities (not necessarily a Finnish fetish, of course). There are also applications that extend beyond personal curiosity, but for the most part, everything the test tells you is more-than-fascinating.

Ethnicity testing starts with the widely held assumption that all human DNA originates in Africa and the goes on a 150-thousand-year journey. The test is the first of its kind ever developed. It reports proportional European, Western sub-Saharan African (African) and East Asian ancestry. For example, one person may obtain a result of 80% European 20% East Asian, while another may type as 33% African, 22% East Asian and 22% European. The DNA test is accurate to from 4-8% and sensitive enough to detect, for many customers, a single (100%) African or European great-great-grandparent or a single (100%) East Asian great grandparent.

As far as I know, the only Scandinavian blood in me is due to a package of Swedish Fish; however, with ethnicity testing, I can make my own claim to the honorable Finland.

Lance Braithwaite
Technology Expert
Mississauga Gazette

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