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Mitochondrial DNA Test

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What Is Mitochondrial Testing?

Both males and females can take part in a mtDNA test. Mothers pass down mitochondrial DNA to both sons and daughters through the egg. Sons can’t pass it to their children, while daughters can. This is different from a Y-chromosome DNA test. This is because the Y-Chromosome is passed on from male to male by the father.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed on from the female down the female ancestral line, and is unique to that female line. The mtDNA sequences of each individual are compared to see if they share certain regions of the mtDNA. If they do, then that indicates they come from the same maternal line. This analysis will conclusively confirm, or eliminate, your relationship to relatives through the maternal/female line.

When You May Want To Do A Mitochondrial DNA Test

There are many reasons to consider mitochondrial testing. When you can verify a biological relationship with a possible relative on your maternal line, you can usually:

  • Confirm information when a question of maternity arises
  • Get information that can help with your medical history
  • Provide some who is adopted’s information about their birth family
  • Explore your family tree

Both males and females can take the mtDNA test since everyone gets their mtDNA from their mother. You’ll get the results in 12-14 days after the lab gets all samples. These results are private and only the person ordering the test sees the DNA profiles or results.

This test has practical uses. If you find a potential relative from an ancestry test and want to check the connection, this analysis helps. Only person-to-person DNA tests can confirm relationships. This comparison will show if your mtDNA sequences match or not. It concludes whether you and the possible relative(s) share a female ancestor. But it can’t specify the exact relationship or which maternal relative is shared.

How Much Does A Mitochondrial Test Cost?

Our price is straightforward and simple. It covers everything you need.

Number Of People Testing

  • Two people testing – $199
  • Each additional person – $100

What Is Included

  • We ship the kit to you quickly via USPS Priority.
  • You’ll have all the DNA collection items required.
  • You can use the prepaid overnight label to send it back.
  • We perform all the lab testing needed.
  • You get results that are completely 100% accurate.

The test’s price varies based on factors, mainly who is getting tested. DNA collection uses buccal swabs or cotton swabs (for Make Your Own Kit – MYOK option). We can’t accept other items for mtDNA testing. Our testing is unique; the mtDNA test we provide confirms newer family relationships scientifically.

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Mitochondrial DNA Testing FAQs

What’s (Mitochondrial) mtDNA?

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), found within mitochondria, stands apart from nuclear DNA by its exclusive maternal origin. Unlike nuclear DNA, which is a blend of parental DNA, each person’s mtDNA closely mirrors that of their mother. With a limited number of genes (37 in total), mtDNA contrasts with the nucleus, which contains approximately 20,000 genes.

In contrast to the two copies of each gene in the nucleus, mitochondria can house 10 or more copies of each gene, and with hundreds to thousands of mitochondria in every cell, the total copies of each mitochondrial gene become substantial.

The unique attributes of mtDNA render it valuable for specific DNA testing applications. In crime scene investigations, the quantity of mtDNA plays a crucial role in determining the information forensic scientists can extract and whether they can identify individuals present at the scene. In cases where nuclear DNA is insufficient for analysis, mtDNA often proves adequate due to its abundance in every cell and its greater stability compared to nuclear DNA. While mtDNA analysis may not always pinpoint a specific individual, it can identify a particular family, making it a useful tool in forensic contexts.

When Should I Consider A Mitochondrial Test?

Here is an example. Consider a scenario where a female Child “A” and her alleged half-brother Child “B” (with the possibility of having the same or a different father than Child “A) seek to determine if they share the same biological mother or maternal grandmother. If the mtDNA test results reveal an identical mtDNA profile, it strongly suggests that they belong to the same maternal lineage. Conversely, if the mtDNA profiles do not match, it indicates that they do not share the same maternal lineage. This highlights the utility of mtDNA testing in establishing maternal relationships between individuals and clarifying their familial connections.

Can Mitochondrial DNA Testing to Determine Ancestry

An extensively employed application of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in DNA testing is the determination of ancestry. Due to its relatively slower rate of change compared to nuclear DNA and its exclusive maternal lineage, mtDNA offers a clearer historical record, specifically of maternal ancestry. This is attributed to the fact that it remains unaltered by paternal DNA.

The analysis of mtDNA has played a pivotal role in allowing scientists to trace the maternal ancestry of the entire human population back to East Africa, with the identified time frame falling approximately between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. In contrast to regular DNA testing, mtDNA testing can reveal certain aspects of ancestry that may not be readily apparent.

For individuals without a scientific background, mtDNA serves as compelling evidence of relationships among those sharing the same maternal lineage. The shared nature of mtDNA among individuals with common maternal ancestry provides clear confirmation of connections extending from mothers to grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and so forth.

What Else Does MtDNA Help Me Learn?

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing holds significant importance in diagnosing certain diseases, particularly those caused by mutations in mtDNA genes. These mutations have been linked to a variety of conditions, often manifesting as neuromuscular diseases or disorders resulting in muscle weakness. A notable case highlighting the impact of mtDNA mutations is that of Greg Lemond, a three-time Tour de France winner, who abandoned competitive cycling due to muscle weakness and fatigue. In 1994, Lemond was diagnosed with “mitochondrial myopathy,” bringing mitochondrial diseases to public attention through his story featured in The New York Times.

Scientists have also identified associations between mutations in mtDNA and symptoms of aging-related diseases. This revelation has led to the hypothesis that changes in mitochondrial DNA play a crucial role in determining the pace of aging in individuals. In the future, mtDNA testing may emerge as a key component in assessing overall health. Even subtle alterations in mtDNA could hold significance in gauging an individual’s energy levels and overall well-being.

Are My DNA Results Confidential?

Absolutley. Your results are completely confidential, and your private genetic information is never shared with or sold to outside parties. We never sell your DNA information, never provide it to any third party, and never use it ourselves for any other reason except this specific test.

Everyone Lives In Different Locations. Can I Still Do The Test?

In cases where test participants reside at a distance, making it impractical to gather for DNA collection, we provide a convenient solution. We offer the option to ship multiple collection kits to different addresses. When placing your order, you can choose the additional DNA kit option.

To ensure accuracy and proper sample tracking, our collection kits are connected through Journey Genetic Testing case numbers and are matched in lab. The unique case numbers serve as identifiers, allowing us to easi;y match all samples to your specific case. This process ensures reliability and precision in our DNA testing services, even in situations where participants are geographically separated.

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