Genealogy Insider: Ancestry.com's New DNA Test
2/22/2013
Ancestry.com's new autosomal DNA test pairs genetic genealogy with traditional research.

Ancestry.com launched a beta version of AncestryDNA, a new and potentially powerful genealogical DNA test, earlier this year, joining a handful of businesses offering autosomal DNA testing for ancestry research.

What makes autosomal DNA so useful for genealogy? Rather than examining a single Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA family line, autosomal DNA tests look at thousands of locations throughout your entire genome to explore many lines in one test. The AncestryDNA test analyzes more than 700,000 locations in your genome, then presents you with your estimated ethnic breakdown and matching individuals from its results database.
 
Genetic genealogy companies Family­TreeDNA and 23andMe also offer autosomal tests examining more than 700,000 genome locations, as well as ethnic analysis and matches from their user databases. What makes Ancestry.com’s test different is the company’s ability to utilize its members’ public trees to help test-takers focus their genealogical research efforts. Still, family historians have some concerns with how researchers will use the combined DNA and family tree information.