FAQs for DNA WorldView

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for "Past"

How accurate is the Your DNA Past Unlocked DNA WorldView test?

The Your DNA Past Unlocked portion of the DNA WorldView test provides your ancestral proportions based on years of collaborative research of populations representing 4 ancestral groups. This research identified 144 informative markers in our DNA, called Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs).

The results typically give you a 95% confidence interval, which is a measure of the statistical strength of the test. The only way to achieve 100% accuracy in an ancestry test would be to go back in time and test each and every one of your ancestors. Since this is impossible, we rely on statistics to make a prediction of your most likely ancestry mix.

The scientists who developed the Your DNA Past Unlocked DNA WorldView test have conducted extensive validation studies with various numbers of markers to create a test that was economically feasible as well as provides the most robust statistical data. The first version of the test used 71 markers—today we test 144 markers to obtain a much higher confidence level while keeping costs to a minimum. In a validation study that used a simulated 100% European population, for example, the test results showed less than 3.3% of total average contribution from African, Indigenous American, and East Asian ancestry, indicating the level of "statistical noise" that is to be expected from the results.

How is DNA WorldView different from mtDNA and Y-chromosomal lineage analysis?

A mtDNA and Y-chromosomal lineage test provides a different view of someone's ancestry. It traces the direct, unbroken maternal and paternal lines, respectively, going back to a common ancestor that lived several thousands of years ago. Although these tests could provide information regarding the provenance of some of a person's ancestors, they are limited in that they do not provide information about the contributions of non-lineal ancestors; for example, spouses along the direct maternal and paternal lines.

For example, one generation ago a person has two ancestors, one mother and one father; five generations ago, a person has 32 ancestors; while 10 generations ago, a person has 1024 ancestors. Ten generations is roughly 250 years and within the time frame of genealogical interest, especially when we are considering the settlement of North America, because they only look at two (2) chromosomes. Y-chromosomal analysis and mtDNA analysis each could only provide information on a very small proportion of a person's ancestors. Our test relies on sequences throughout your genome, so we can say more about a greater number of your ancestors.

My proportions were 85% European and 15% East Asian, and the East Asian part surprised me. How reliable is the 15% part of the profile?

The 15% East Asian means you most likely share sequence identity with East Asians at some markers. Studies have indicated that, although there is a measurable level of noise in the test, we do see a pattern of minor contribution among certain populations.

How can I confirm the significance of a low percentage of admixture, such as 4% Indigenous American or 3% African?

There are two ways for you to confirm the value of this estimate:

  • You may have access to historical records or other provenance that leads you to confirm or refute the admixture. For example, if your records suggest that you have a grandparent of East Asian heritage and you register with the test as of 5% East Asian, the two observations combined make a stronger case for East Asian ancestry than either on their own.
  • You can obtain the admixture proportions for your father and mother. Let us say you register with 4% African and you want to know whether this 4% is in error or is accurate. You obtain the admixture proportions from your parents and each is 100% European. Chances are the 4% was a result of statistical noise. However, if your mother was 15% African and your father was 100% European, your non-zero percentage of African is likely to be an accurate indicator of African ancestry.

I think I have Indigenous American heritage, but my test results show that I am 100% European.

  • Barring adoption and paternity issues, your range bars and confidence intervals are also part of your answer. The values within these determined ranges represent other possible outcomes that are statistically significant but are less likely. Therefore, if your range bar on the bar graph includes values greater than zero, you should consider that possibility.
  • Without direct genetic testing, it is uncertain that your ancestor was 100% Indigenous American. If you only had one such ancestor in your family this would make detection all that much more difficult. In addition, the number of generations between a limited number of ancestors with Indigenous American markers and yourself will also influence the probability of detecting such a connection.

I think I have Indigenous American heritage, but my test results show more East Asian than Indigenous American admixture. Am I wrong or is the test wrong?

  • Your results are derived to show how well you compare to our reference populations. Your range bars and confidence intervals are also part of your answer. The values within these determined ranges represent other possible outcomes that are statistically significant but are less likely. It is probable that your intervals and ranges encompass a number of values for both Indigenous American and East Asian populations and this should be considered when questioning these types of results.
  • 5 Generations ago, you had 32 Great Grandparents, all of whom contributed to your genetic makeup. Understanding the contributions from each of these individuals is difficult. It is possible that some of these people had some minor East Asian component and their contributions are influencing your results.

How accurate are the minor (<10%) admixture scores?

Pedigree studies have shown that the level of admixture follow known inheritance patterns, supporting the validity of these low values. However, as stated above, the confidence intervals are important for understanding your results and the scores are the most likely estimates from your DNA. If your confidence interval overlaps zero your value may be within the statistical noise threshold of the test and should be considered a possible result.

Has the science for the DNA WorldView test been published in the scientific literature?

1. Parra, E., Marcini, A., Akey, J., Martinson, J., Batzer, M., Cooper, R., Forrester, T., Allison, D., Deka, R., Ferrell, R. and M. Shriver. 1998. Estimating African American Admixture Proportions by Use of Population Specific Alleles.Am. J. Hum. Genet. 63:1839-1851.

2. Pfaff, C., Parra, E., Bonilla, C., Hiester, K., McKeigue, P., Kamboh, M., Hutchinson, R., Ferrell, R., Boerwinkle, E., and M. Shriver.2001. Population Structure in Admixed Populations: Effect of Admixture Dynamics on the Pattern of Linkage Disequilibrium.Am. J. Hum. Genet. 68:198-207.

3. Parra, E., Kittles, R., Argyropoulos, G., Pfaff, C., Hiester, K., Bonilla, C., Sylvester, N., Parrish-Gause, C., Garvey, W., Jin, L., McKeigue, P., Kamboh, M., Ferrell, R., Pollitzer, W., and M. Shriver.2001. Ancestral Proportions and Admixture Dynamics in Geographically Defined African Americans Living in South Carolina.American Journal of Physical Anthropology 114:18-29.

4. Frudakis, T., V Kondragunta, M Thomas, Z Gaskin, S Ginjupalli, S Gunturi, V Ponnuswamy, S Natarajan, and P Nachimuthu. 2003. A Classifier for SNP-Based Inference of Ancestry. Journal of Forensics Sciences. 48(4):771-82.

FAQ for "Present"

Can you please explain how Population Genetics is used to determine Your DNA Present Unlocked?

Population Genetics is a branch of genetics that focuses on how frequently genes occur in a population and once determined, how frequently combinations of genes (genotypes) should occur. For example, if a gene has two forms (alleles) in a population, they can be referred to as x and y. Allele x is found at a frequency of 10% in the population while allele y is found at a frequency of 90% (total adds up to 100%). A different population may have the same two alleles, but their frequencies may be different. Since each person contains two copies of a gene, one from each biological parent, there are three possible genotypes; x/x, x/y, and y/y. These three genotypes will occur in a frequency proportional to the individual allele frequencies and can be calculated using a standard Population Genetics equation known as the Hardy-Weinberg Equation. In this case the three genotypes are expected to occur at a frequency of: x/x is (0.1 x 0.1) = 1%; x/y is (2 x 0.1 x 0.9) = 18%; y/y = (0.9 x 0.9) = 81%.

DNA WorldView uses these principles in providing information about the population groups you share the most statistical similarity. Since the markers used to generate your unique DNA profile are weakly affiliated with ancestry, your DNA Present Unlocked will likely not match your expectations in terms of ancestry.

How many people are in the database? My country of relationship could change as the amount of people in the database changes, right?

There are a scientifically significant number of data points in the databases used for DNA WorldView. If more data points were added to a country's database, it may change the ranking of the country, but not necessarily. If the original database correctly captured the frequencies of alleles in the population, additional data should not significantly change the allele frequencies, but will lower the variance in calculations.

What is the likelihood of native countrymen having any matching DNA markers if relatives don't?

Genetic markers and genes are often used interchangeably. A gene performs a certain function, i.e. codes for an enzyme that is necessary in a metabolic pathway. Although everyone has the enzyme, the enzyme may perform better in some people than in other people. This can be due to the composition of the building blocks that make up the enzyme (amino acids), which are due to differences in the DNA code (nucleotides). The different forms of the DNA code for the gene are referred to as alleles. Thus, every one may have the gene that performs a certain required function, but may have different alleles of that gene. The genetic markers used for identification are not coding genes, so their function, if there is one, is not known. However, there are many forms that can occur in the human population for these markers (highly polymorphic), which make them ideal for identification.

People will share common DNA alleles because they are common in the population or because they are biologically inherited. Calculations using population genetic principles are used to determine the statistical strength of matching alleles for the biological relationship in question. Since the inheritance of alleles biologically is random (half of the time an allele is passed to an offspring, half of the time not), at any locus, other than first-degree relatives (i.e. father - child), individuals may or may not share an allele. Individuals with a common ethnic background are statistically more likely to share common alleles.

How was your selection of the countries and the databases for these countries amassed?

The sample countries shown by DNA WorldView in the results section are selected by the number of studies and databases that are available on specific populations to build the most robust and meaningful set of results possible.

General Questions

What is the difference between the DNA WorldView test and other ancestry tests?

DNA WorldView is a unique test in that it gives you percentages of your ancestral makeup based on markers across your 22 pairs of autosomes (non-sex chromosomes); therefore, it takes into account contributions from your full spectrum of ancestors to determine "Your DNA Past Unlocked".

DNA WorldView then looks at your 13 CODIS loci using a known formula in the scientific community as the Hardy Weinberg Equation to determine "Your DNA Present Unlocked". We look at what similarities or tiny fragments of these 13 markers contain compared to population groups around the world. Knowing that the human population was evolving and reproducing as it migrated into new part of the globe, it is not such a far-fetched idea that we may have something in common with a population from Uganda or Brazil or even Australia.

Step back and look at humans in terms of where we started millions of years ago and where we are today. Everything has changed and yet something very fundamental deep within us remains the same something that connects all of us and makes us unique and unlike any other living species on the globe. Our DNA.

Can I share my results with my friends and family?

Absolutely. We encourage it. This is meant to be fun and something that you would want to share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter - that's why we've provided you with direct links to the hottest social media platforms. And don't worry, no one is going to be able to look at your results and collect any personal information about you. We've designed this to be fun and secure in every way.

When will my results be ready?

Remember, results may not be ready for 6 to 8 weeks after receipt of specimens in the laboratory. You will receive an email when your results are completed.

Once I have submitted my order, what happens next?

Once you've collected your DNA sample and returned it to us in the pre-paid postage envelope, please allow 6 to 8 weeks from the time you place your DNA samples in the mail until you receive your results. This will allow time for mailing, processing, and testing of your samples.

As soon as we have completed the analysis you will receive an email indicating you can go online to retrieve your results in the secure members area.

How do you redeem kits using a promo code or discount coupon?

1. Visit and click the "Order" button

2. Enter your COUPON/voucher number in the "Promo Code" box

3. Complete the 'Account' and 'Shipping' information to complete your purchase

Is there a way to correct my e-mail address entered incorrectly?

Please contact us through the Contact Us page about this issue and provide us with detailed information so we can look up your account and correct the problem.

I purchased a discount voucher and was charged the full amount?

Please contact us through the Contact Us page about this issue and provide us with detailed information so we can look up your account and correct the problem. Please include your voucher number.

How do you fix kits purchased under the wrong name?

Please contact us through the Contact Us page about this issue and provide us with detailed information so we can look up your account and correct the problem.

Will I receive confirmation of my purchase?

Yes. You will see a thank you page outlining the 'Next Steps' and you will also get an confirmation email after your transaction has been processed. Please allow 24 hours for us to process your transaction.

What is my order status?

Please allow 6 - 8 weeks from the time you place your DNA samples in the mail until you receive your results. This will allow time for mailing, processing, and testing of your samples. You may log in through the members area to see if your results are ready at any time. You will get an email once your results are ready letting you know you can log in through the 'Results Login' tab to retrieve your results.

Is this DNA information you are gathering stored, submitted or sold to any sort of master data base or a company that has a database of this sort?

The DNA data generated in the test is used only to generate the report provided to the client and is purged from the system once the testing is completed and the report released. The DNA information is not submitted or sold to any company or organization.

What is done with the results and raw data that you have on each person once this information is determined and presented to the owner?

Once the testing is completed and the results provided to the client, all data is purged from our system.

Do you sell this information or any parts of this information to third parties?

We DO NOT sell any of the information obtained for the testing to any third parties.

Do you compile additional information from the DNA sample not presented to the owner and create data to sell to third parties?

We do not test the DNA for additional markers other than those to generate the reporting provided for the client.

Can the DNA WorldView kit be shipped overseas?

We are currently conducting tests in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, and can only ship to these countries.