Who Am I?

It was a curiosity about where she came from and an advertisement that got mother of three, Danyelle Konop, to look into her family history.

“I was just curious. I was always curious, from the stories that I heard on my family, I guess, it just prompted more questions and you know. Well the answers to those, I wanted more, you know, questions and answers from that. So yeah, ever since I was little I was just curious, I needed to know I had to know,” said Konop. 

Thinking that she was mostly Scandinavian, Konop ordered the DNA kit from Ancestry.com. The kit requires a saliva sample that comes back with results a few weeks later. The results surprised her.

“We’re talking about Bohemian, and Czechoslovakian, and Russian, and you know all these different things in there, which was pretty cool. We only thought there was so many per side, but actually seeing the complete list of like yeah, this is what’s all there that was really interesting too,” said Konop 

DNA tests like the one Konop ordered, range in price from $70 to $200 depending on what you want to look into. There are options of just looking into your ancestry, or you can even find out more about your health risks and other traits with a separate kit. Konop says her test was worth the price.  

“You literally are paying for what you get and you get a lot. They tell you, you know, with each region, they’ll tell you like the history and significant events that happened you know, in their history and any migration from this family or from the ethnics there and that’s pretty cool,” said Konop. 

Considering the price range and the small DNA sample each kit requires, you might wonder whether the results are very conclusive. 

“It’s extremely accurate, those markers don’t lie, they’re your DNA, they came from your ancestors,” said Gareth Davies, Avera Health Chief Scientific Officer.

DNA testing has become popular among Millennials, in part because it’s becoming more accessible. 

“First of all, the science has improved immensely, and also the price of the cost of getting your,  ancestry determined has reduced remarkably,” said Gareth Davies, Avera Health Chief Scientific Officer.

Yet there are questions surrounding the tests… including how just one DNA sample is able to track ancient family history. 

“We have distinct markers that show that our ancestry is determined by our genetics. Our genetics show that when we, what we call DNA sequencing, or more likely geno-typing, where we look for those markers specifically,” said Davies.

“They even traced back to the very house and street they lived in over in Norway and they took so many pictures so they have a big family book of all of our ancestry’s and family put together this book. So it’s pretty cool to sit down and look at it,” said Konop. 

When the results are in, the researcher is able to connect with others who may also looking into their history, or people they may be related to. 

“There was this huge other list of all these potential relatives on there you know, they give you a percentage of like high, you know, or low chance of being related to this person, so that was pretty cool. You know, people I have no clue who you are but hey we might be relatives,” said Konop. 

If you find out you’re related to someone that means their DNA marker can also be traced back to the same region.

“Certain markers are only carried by certain ethnic groups or races, and they’re only found in certain areas of the world,” said Davies. 

With the growing popularity of researching family ancestry, Konop says if you want to learn more about your family history… just do it. 

“Just to go for it, you want to know, go for it because it could really surprise you. Even though you hear stories of your family that you think are true, then you take the test, you can be, like I said, really surprised, really shocked to see, you know, what that test shows,” said Konop. 

“It’s just a very exciting time for genetics, and uh, I think uh, people are becoming much more interested in that and their ancestry and their medication preferences, it’s just becoming very, very popular,” said Davies. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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