Genealogy — thanks in part to genetic testing of companies like Ancestry.com, National Geographic and the PBS series “Finding Your Roots” — has become quite popular recently. For a fairly modest cost they will study your saliva, compare it to thousands of other samples, uncover your genotype and tell you where you are really from.
Having no claim to stardom, I don’t expect to be invited on soon, and so began to wonder about my own, Northern European roots and wondered if, indeed, that’s all there was. And as with most liberal types, I harbor a secret “wanna be” desire to be something more, or other, than I appear — a white, late-middle-aged male, putting me in the same phylum as Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell — not the sexiest demographic in the world. From ninth grade biology, I vaguely remembered the difference between “genotype” — your genetic code and sequence — and your “phenotype,” essentially, what you look like, and appear to be.
Dutifully, they e-mailed me when the box had arrived, and then, a few weeks later, they e-mailed me again to say my DNA was under study, being compared to thousands and thousands of genetic markers, and it would only be a few more weeks! They invited me to get back on their website, so I could know exactly what they were up to, and I examined an enticing map of Europe with overlapping circles of ethnically certified DNA groups, stretching all the way from Eastern Europe into North Africa. Perhaps that “Arab” blood of my grandmother was actually the Moorish blood of that great empire that ruled, built, and educated, large swaths of Spain and Portugal and France for 500 years?
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: In my genes: Adventures in DNA testing