There has been a recent buzz in the media about DNA companies like MyHeritage and other competitors offering similar services.
However, MyHeritage is a hot topic of the season as many people are on the line for a Myheritage discount code to begin their ancestral discovery journey. But what is MyHeritage all about?
Gilad Japhet, a software engineer, recognized the need for family tree programs and supporting algorithms early in the 2000s and created one of the earliest computer-based ones, MyHeritage. Through this service, interested people could build thorough ancestral kits online. Though its main user base originated in Europe, the company has teamed with FamilySearch so its users can also access billions of records from North America.
Starting, MyHeritage focused on the ancestral aspect of the business, giving people access to records of their family trees and relatives. At the time, the users of this platform were required to unload their personal info via desktop software; details that could be viewed online but not altered by any party. Moving on, the company added several new features to make the software more user-friendly. This included features like facial recognition software and Pearl Street software with hundreds of millions of public records.
The company added carrier status and health testing to its services in 2016, enabling people to conduct DNA testing through a branded testing kit accessible to users worldwide. Ever since 2020, the platform has been supporting over 40 languages, and there are about 50 million active users on the platform, who have also built an approximate number of family trees.
How Does The MyHeritage DNA Kit Work?
MyHeritage DNA test kits are available for purchase by patrons not only in Europe but across the globe. After purchasing these kits, clients must register with MyHeritage and provide essential information. This registered account is then linked to the test through a unique code to each test kit, enabling the lab to match the results to the correct account.
After conducting the swab tests by following the instructions in the kits, the vials are returned to the lab through a pre-addressed envelope while the clients get regular updates via emails.
My Heritage DNA is an autosomal DNA test and it is preferred because they do not change as quickly over time. It works by identifying numbers of shared SNPs and these SNPs which are passed from parents to children remain unchanged, regardless of how old the person gets. Hence, it is easier to find a direct ancestry as a shared or linked SNP means both parties have a common ancestor. Instead of comparing the DNA to that of the common ancestor, what MY Heritage Ethnicity test does is to water that result down from one generation to another and compare the results to that of ancestors at least 6 generations back in a particular group or region. Hence, the test result shows just how much DNA you might share with a group of people clustered in a certain space, hence giving you more insight into your ancestry.
After about 4 weeks, the results of this test are then made available online via the registered accounts. Through these results, patrons can access information about DNA matches, genetic groups, parts of the world where their relatives are clustered, and many more.
What We Like About MyHeritage DNA
Though MyHeritage is relatively new to the DNA testing world, as they only began to offer the service a few years ago, it has a few strengths worthy of note. For one, all that is needed for a DNA test is a simple swab test and nothing too complicated, making it easy for anyone to use. In addition, your results, which are tested and analyzed in certified laboratories, are protected through multi-layered encryption, giving only you access to your DNA information. My Heritage also makes use of the Illumina OmniExpress-24 chip which has more than enough probes to capture a significant amount of genetic variation as accurately and precisely as possible.
Furthermore, one can be assured that whatever details shared with My Heritage are in good hands as all lab technicians with the company are highly qualified, seeing that the lab has a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification.
Importantly, research has proven that the autosomal DNA test is generally more reliable than other DNA tests like mtDNA and Y-DNA, especially when it comes to finding ancestry as it increases the possibility of you finding necessary connections, even in parts of the world where you might never have considered.
What We Do Not Like About MyHeritage DNA Kits
We can tell that a lot of effort was put into the creation of the DNA kits as they have quite several strong points, which are good for business. However, most of the patrons getting these kits are not very knowledgeable about the science behind them. Hence, navigating some of the kit’s features can be a hassle. Judging from reviews, many patrons trying to navigate the kits have gotten lost on features like chromosome matching as they neither understand it nor know how it works.
In addition, MyHeritage would be set apart from many of the companies currently considered as competitors if the DNA results could be worked on to be even more specific. Currently, the results are being matched to different regions in the world, which patrons could relate to. However, it would be much better and helpful if these results could be matched more specifically to countries worldwide.
Undoubtedly, the scientific principles behind this testing kit are very reliable, with an extensive database. However, MyHeritage leans more towards patrons interested in finding their heritage as the service was what they had started with. They are known today to have the most extensive European database, with over six million samples worldwide. Hence, if you think you have European ancestry and want to find out for sure, then you need to try out this.
Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.