The latest player in at-home DNA testing, LivingDNA pretends to be the “world’s most superior DNA test.” Not only does the organization present a report in your ancestry, but also, it also supplies information on your maternal and early ancestors.
Living DNA calls itself a 3-in-1 DNA test, as it inspects three parts of your DNA: mtDNA from the own mother, yDNA from your dad and your autosomes. However, be aware that only men inherit yDNA in their fathers, so girls will get results based on mtDNA and autosomes.
The yDNA from your dad and mtDNA from the mother allow one to research what Living DNA calls “direct ancestry.” LivingDNA can discover which haplogroups you relate to, by comparing your mtDNA and yDNA with genetic mutations found over time in ancient people.
(A haplogroup is a group of individuals who share genes with an ancient common ancestor, through the father line or motherline.)
Like other Ancestry evaluations, LivingDNA examines your autosomes (chromosomes you have shared with relatives on either side of your family) to find out your current ethnic ancestry. This sort of evaluation can match you with families up to ten spans apart.
LivingDNA’s relationship matching practice is still in beta, but they already do offer a means to explore your ancestry through ethnic estimates and migration background.
After sending off your sample, you’ll finally get your results digitally.
Where LivingDNA Stands out is the volume of detail given in its results, providing compelling visualizations and writing about your ancestors. It is also the first to exemplify 21 specific sub-regions of the United Kingdom that your DNA may come from. (In comparison, AncestryDNA has 13 regions.) Other nations have sub-regions with more on the way.
The kit of LivingDNA gets your DNA sample by a cheek swab. The method is easy and straightforward, with few measures to take care of.
Here’s what you’ll find in the kit:
- Specimen bag
- Instruction booklet
- Swab attached inside DNA preserving tube
You may get the combination of tube and swab well-designed and sturdy. The complete method beats the heck out of saliva-based tests, which needs having to spit over and over again in a container. It only asks one mouth swab rather than two or more such as the kits offered by competitors GPS Origins and MyHeritage.
Before you can swab your mouth, be sure to don’t smoke, eat, or drink caffeine for at least one hour since this can influence the quality of the DNA sample. Like other services, LivingDNA suggests you have a clean mouth so that you may want to wash and have water 30 minutes before taking the sample.
The whole procedure for collecting your DNA was effortless thanks to the 2-in-1 tube. Your DNA is located on your cheek’s inside, so you need to practice a firm anti-clockwise motion on both sides to accumulate it, ensuring not to draw blood.
Once you swab your cheeks, you cover the swab in the tube tightly and force it inward to rescue the drying mechanism to save the sample. Then you place a barcode on the tube, put into the specimen bag, and then send it off in the return mailer.
Remember to activate your kit online to get your results on the site. The code is located on the individual bag, so make a note of it or activate your account before shipping your sample.
LivingDNA provides your reports within 6 to 8 weeks generally but can take up to 12 weeks after receiving your sample in its lab. 23andMe, which offers similar reports, takes between 6 to 8 weeks. AncestryDNA also provides results in 6 to 8 weeks, and MyHeritage is the quickest at 4 to 6 weeks, but these tests measure less of your DNA.
LivingDNA shines in regards to the detail it gives in its results. You can explore your DNA history with a variety of panels that brings up colorful interactive visualizations and background of the ancient cultures you share your heritage with.
The Ancestry Panel has three segments: Motherline, Family Ancestry, and Fatherline. The design and information of the Family Ancestry panel are similar to what you get from other DNA tests. It is further divided into four segments: Map, What Makes Chart, You, and Thorough History. These panels offer a breakdown of your ethnic ancestry through visualizations.
The Chart panel and What Makes You are two illustrations are breaking up your ethnic view into a visualization of a body. You can look over your global, regional and sub-regional heritage using a slider. Global refers to regions like Africa and Europe, and regional is organized by country or groups of countries.
The map shows the information differently, enabling you to click on ethnicities to zoom into specific areas. Like the past two visualizations, you may also move between your international, regional, and sub-regional ethnic groups.
The most unique feature of LivingDNA is it can provide specific information within a nation for sub-regional groups. Currently, LivingDNA provides the detail for the UK, which may estimate your ethnic percentage for regions such as Cornwall and East Anglia. The company says it will add further sub-regional breakdowns for different countries, such as Germany and Italy, as time continues.
You can also change the outlook involving Complete, Standard, and Cautious. Standard and Complete have mainly informed opinions concerning your ancestry, while Cautious represents to be the most detailed of the three depending upon available genetic science.
The final Segment, Through History, charts your ancestors’ migration models across the ages. You can hit at play to watch out your ancestry spread over a world map starting from 1,000 decades and going as far back as 80,000 decades. It was quite cool to find tens of thousands of years to play out in a moment, and it comes accompanied by a section that updates with historical data as the years’ progress.
But LivingDNA offers far more than this breakdown in its Fatherline and Motherline sections. Both these reports are classified into four panels: Coverage Map, Migration Map, History, and Phylogenetic Tree. History is precisely what it really sounds like, giving a considerable writeup about the roots of your ancient ancestors on either your father’s or mother’s side.
More interesting are the Migration Map and the Coverage Map. The Coverage Map shows the regions where father’s or your mother’s haplogroup originated from. (You may remember this from the intro, but to remind you: A haplogroup is a group of individuals who share DNA with an ancient common ancestor from millions of years back.)
Both LivingDNA and 23andMe put me in subgroups of the same haplogroups in my mother’s and father’s side, causing us to believe both these tests were reasonably accurate.
Another exciting feature of the Fatherline and Motherline panels reveals your ancestor’s migration history dating around 80,000 years back. It starts in the period where it is theorized we share mtDNA or the yDNA. With time, this DNA acquired more variations as your ancestors moved across the world and had kids.
LivingDNA utilizes its genetic research gauge and to pinpoint the pathways that your forebears took to the regions that your more up-to-date ancestors hail from.
The final Visualization is your “evolutionary tree” or the Phylogenetic Tree. This reveals the path leading to a status in the evolutionary tree of life, with every node on the tree describing a common ancestor. The last level, representing you, places the subtype of your haplogroup characterized as an alphanumeric signature.
One feature missing from LivingDNA is a method which pairs you with genetic relatives. Rivals like MyHeritage, AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and FamilyTree, all offer this choice. Living DNA did assure us it will shortly include a fully-featured relative matching named Family Networks, but in this time it’s only available in beta. According to their April 2019 News Update, this feature is a priority for them.
On Family Matching
The first new feature they’re currently publishing, during the platform upgrade, is the feature for household matching.
A couple of people have stated on the number of matches they are getting corresponded to other services, and we hear you. When we set about choosing if we should provide DNA matching or not, we arrived at the conclusion that for many people it is not the number of matches you have. But how LivingDNA can classify and match you with this one key individual not found on other databases.
With the vast majority of our clients only testing at LivingDNA (because of our strict European data laws) and many deciding not to upload their information to other websites, we have already had numerous people find close relations who weren’t on other platforms.
Therefore, while now you may not receive a match, or in the coming months, we do encourage you to opt into comparing and have your DNA on the platform prepared for when that game appears.
What This Means For The Future
As we come closer to the system upgrade, we’ll inform you on which attribute is going to be published and when. We’ve got a selection of exciting developments planned.
While in the past Legacy technologies have slowed down us, moving ahead we will be able to quickly release the features we’ve spoken about and many who are yet to be shared. As with other services, LivingDNA will also let you upload raw DNA data from different tests to enhance your results’ detail.
LivingDNA reported PCWorld that uploading DNA at the moment will only upgrade your with genetic matches with relatives, but finally, they’ll also use this data to enhance your ethnic breakdown.
By default, LivingDNA does not discuss your DNA information with third parties without your express consent. The company also encrypts data using the AES-256 pattern, which makes the data tough to crack.
”DNA data is stored separately to any personally identifiable information, and linked with an anonymous key,” a LivingDNA spokesperson said.
If you choose to opt to share your information, LivingDNA states it will be supplied to “leading academic research associates on projects that will benefit society,” and the company does not work with private research groups like pharmaceutical firms.
You can grant and revoke your consent whenever you want. When you first register, you can opt-in at that time; to withdraw it, go to the research panel and tick the box that says you don’t need to participate.
If you decide later on that you do not want LivingDNA to maintain your data and you would like your sample destroyed, you will have to email the company at email@example.com with your request. (Unfortunately, there is no means to do this in the account settings.)
LivingDNA costs $99, which are the exact same cost as 23andMe and AncestryDNA, but more than MyHeritage. Check their website for the latest price deals, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas season sales. Remarkably, Living DNA’s matchmaking structure is still in its initial beta trial days, while its rivals have more strong services. So with the price being more or less the same than other opponents, what makes it deserving it?
Despite not having a completed service yet, LivingDNA gives a surprising amount of detail about your roots that MyHeritage and AncestryDNA do not. What is more, it provides additional information in the form of sub-regional categorizations for the UK and says other territories outside the UK are on the system.
But overall, the evaluation is in many ways an opponent to 23andMe, which has the attributes excluding the sub-regional divisions. But, since LivingDNA is newer, it does not feel as polished as 23andMe despite pricing the same. Still, it’s a very well-put-together service and test, particularly if you’re seeking to explore the sub-regions of nations where your more recent ancestors existed.