How the Test Works
1. Is ConnectMyDNA™ an Ancestry test?
NO, ConnectMyDNA™ is not an ancestry test. ConnectMyDNA™ utilizes current databases that represent the modern world population structure. ConnectMyDNA™ provides you with a Gene Ring™ and the populations with which you share the most similarity.
2. So why would I take the ConnectMyDNA™ test?
We know that over 99% of human DNA is identical. It’s less than 1% of our DNA that makes us unique; that tells us what our physical characteristics are like. We know that in some way we are all connected as human beings. One theory of human evolution is that over the course of centuries and millennia humans began a migration pattern that took them from regions in Africa into Asia through Europe and into North and South America. Even as recent as the 20th Century (1918-1998) human migration continues therefore changing the face of global populations.
Genetic traces of people from these regions survived within tiny fragments of our DNA. ConnectMyDNA™ uses a genetics population equation to calculate what fragments of these DNA particles exists within us and to what extent they share some similarity to the same fragments in populations across the globe.
The formula used is known in the scientific community as the Hardy Weinberg Equation. We do not look at ancestry. We look at what similarities or tiny fragments of these 13 markers contain similarities to population groups around the world. Knowing that the human population was evolving and reproducing as it migrated into new part of the globe, it is not such a far-fetched idea that we may have something in common with a population from Uganda or Brazil or even Australia.
Step back and look at humans in terms of where we started millions of years ago and where we are today. Everything has changed and yet something very fundamental deep within us remains the same … something that connects all of us and makes us unique and unlike any other living species on the globe. Our DNA.
3. What test is available for me to discover more about my ancestry?
There are a number of different types of DNA tests that can provide information about your ancestry. If you are interested in learning more, we recommend www.ancestrybydna.com, for information on family tree records go to www.findmypast.com.
4. Is this kit valid in courts and with governments?
The sample collection for this test is not considered “chain of custody” since the there is no proof of the integrity of the sample and the test would not be appropriate for Court.
5. What can I expect to receive when my results are ready?
Once your sample has been processed, we will email you to let you know you can log into the members area to view your results. In the members area you will be able to view various things; Your Gene Ring™, which is a representation of your 13 DNA markers, your top country connection for the regions you selected when you purchased ConnectMyDNA™ your Allele Values, various connection statistics and access to the live discussions. The results can be downloaded so you can print, share and compare your results with friends and family.
6. How do I supply my DNA?
After you place your order, we ship to you a special DNA sample collection kit that includes cotton tipped swabs and instructions on how to use them to extract cheek cells from your mouth. The procedure is painless and only takes a few minutes to do.
7. How is the Baseline DNA sampling in your database, to compare my DNA, gathered? Do you just send out requests to local people living in the area and call that your baseline data?
The countries represented in the databases generated the databases used in ConnectMyDNA™ locally. Most of these databases were published in peer reviewed scientific articles and thus were constructed properly. A typical database will contain the DNA test results from unrelated individuals and databases used are of sufficient size to provide statistically significant calculations when determining the frequency of occurrence of the individual alleles (alternate forms of the gene or DNA) in the population." Please see our explanation of Population Genetics.
8. The sample of the DNA that you have can supply everything about a person, what information are you culling from this test and not releasing to the owner?
The DNA sample is tested only at the locations to generate the DNA Profile, which provides no information about the person regarding physical characteristics or genetic abnormalities.
9. How many people are in the database? My country of relationship could change as the amount of people in the database changes, right?
There are a scientifically significant number of data points in the databases used for ConnectMyDNA™. If more data points were added to a country's database, it may change the ranking of the country, but not necessarily. If the original database correctly captured the frequencies of alleles in the population, additional data should not significantly change the allele frequencies, but will lower the variance in calculations.
How the Gene Ring™ Works
1. What is the Gene Ring™?
Your Gene Ring™ is a graphic representation of your genetic markers at the 13 locations analyzed. The position of each of the green segments in the concentric rings of the circle represents your actual genetic markers. An STR (Short Tandem Repeat), DNA analysis was performed and at each location (locus) examined; one or two numbers were detected. The numbers represent the number of repeat units present and are referred to as alleles (alternate forms of a gene). You obtained your unique set of alleles from your biological parents. The actual values from your DNA are provided along with a diagram of the chromosomal location of each of the locations examined. The combination of alleles represents your unique DNA Profile. This is why DNA testing is so accurate and reliable in determining biological relationships and for forensic analysis.
2. How did you create the Gene Ring™?
Using a sophisticated proprietary algorithm, we converted your DNA genetic marker information into a Gene Ring™—a graphic DNA signature that represents your unique genetic code.
3. What do the green bars on my Gene Ring™ represent?
Your Gene Ring™ represents your unique DNA signature. Your Gene Ring™ is composed of concentric circles. Each circle represents a different location in the DNA known as a genetic marker. These are the same genetic markers used in forensic identification. The green bars represent your specific DNA signature (alleles).
4. What can I do with my Gene Ring™?
You can use your Gene Ring™ as your personal badge anywhere you’d like—on your business card, email signature, or you can even create a cool T-shirt! We also provide you with an e-poster showcasing your Gene Ring™ and your Country Connection. You can share your Gene Ring™ on Facebook using our social network functions. Compare your Gene Ring™ with your friends and family to see your similarities and differences! You can download your Gene Ring™ image in different resolutions, depending on your purposes (print, web, and others).
5. Does my Gene Ring™ contain sensitive information about me?
NO. Your Gene Ring™ does not contain any genetic information regarding health or predisposition to disease.
6. Can others “decode” my genetic information from my Gene Ring™?
NO. The Gene Ring™ graphic is generated using a proprietary technology stored in a secure database.
7. Do I need to take into account migration of groups to understand the results better?
Migration patterns can certainly affect the country associations made by ConnectMyDNA™. The databases used in the calculations are derived from current populations within the last 10 years. Migration can affect the frequency of the genetic markers within a population. You can also view our blog to learn more.
8. Can you please explain Population Genetics?
Population Genetics is a branch of genetics that focuses on how frequently genes occur in a population and once determined, how frequently combinations of genes (genotypes) should occur. For example, if a gene has two forms (alleles) in a population, they can be referred to as x and y. Allele x is found at a frequency of 10% in the population while allele y is found at a frequency of 90% (total adds up to 100%). A different population may have the same two alleles, but their frequencies may be different. Since each person contains two copies of a gene, one from each biological parent, there are three possible genotypes; x/x, x/y, and y/y. These three genotypes will occur in a frequency proportional to the individual allele frequencies and can be calculated using a standard Population Genetics equation known as the Hardy-Weinberg Equation. In this case the three genotypes are expected to occur at a frequency of: x/x is (0.1 x 0.1) = 1%; x/y is (2 x 0.1 x 0.9) = 18%; y/y = (0.9 x 0.9) = 81%.
ConnectMyDNA™ uses these principles in providing information about the population groups you share the most statistical similarity. Since the markers used to generate your unique DNA profile are weakly affiliated with ancestry, your connection will likely not match your expectations in terms of ancestry.
How the Country Connection Works
1. How did you arrive at my Top Country Match or Connection?
The results are segregated in five specific regions of the world. You can compare your personal DNA results to these specific regions and view the similarities you share.
2. What is the significance of my Top Country Match/Connection?
We look at what similarities or tiny fragments of these 13 markers contain similarities to population groups around the world. Your Top Country Connection is the country that statistically you share the most similarity with when comparing these 13 markers. Each region will provide you with the country that shares the most similarities to your 13 markers to the least similar.
3. If I visited my top country today, would my Gene Ring™ be similar to this country’s current population?
It is likely that your Gene Ring™ would be more similar to your top country’s population compared to the populations of other countries.
4. What information is available to me about my country connections?
Your country connections are calculated based on the frequency (statistical likelihood) that the specific DNA markers in your Gene Ring™ are represented in each of the countries on the list. You can now view statistical data on these countries and also how your results compare to each of the countries and also participate in live discussions about ConnectMyDNA™. Additional information on each country will be made available to the members over the coming months.
5. Can I share my results with my friends and family?
Absolutely. We encourage it. This is meant to be fun and something that you would want to share with your friends on FaceBook and Twitter. And don’t worry, no one is going to be able to look at your results or your gene Ring™ and collect any personal information about you. We’ve designed this to be fun and secure in every way.
6. What is the likelihood of native countrymen having any matching DNA markers if relatives don't?
Genetic markers and genes are often used interchangeably. A gene performs a certain function, i.e. codes for an enzyme that is necessary in a metabolic pathway. Although everyone has the enzyme, the enzyme may perform better in some people than in other people. This can be due to the composition of the building blocks that make up the enzyme (amino acids), which are due to differences in the DNA code (nucleotides). The different forms of the DNA code for the gene are referred to as alleles. Thus, every one may have the gene that performs a certain required function, but may have different alleles of that gene. The genetic markers used for identification are not coding genes, so their function, if there is one, is not known. However, there are many forms that can occur in the human population for these markers (highly polymorphic), which make them ideal for identification.
People will share common DNA alleles because they are common in the population or because they are biologically inherited. Calculations using population genetic principles are used to determine the statistical strength of matching alleles for the biological relationship in question. Since the inheritance of alleles biologically is random (half of the time an allele is passed to an offspring, half of the time not), at any locus, other than first-degree relatives (i.e. father - child), individuals may or may not share an allele. Individuals with a common ethnic background are statistically more likely to share common alleles.
7. How was your selection of the countries and the databases for these countries amassed?
The databases used for ConnectMyDNA™ were selected to be representative of the world population. The choice of which databases to include was in some cases a practical issue since some countries do not have a database while other countries use different loci than those used for ConnectMyDNA™. We then incorporated a population genetics equation known as the Hardy-Weinberg Equation to calculate the frequency of occurrence of your profile in each of the 89 populations. The populations that produced the best match are listed. This does not mean that you or any of your relatives are from those countries, since ConnectMyDNA™ is not an ancestry test. We hope the associations we listed are of interest and may foster a greater understanding of the nature of human kind and how closely we are all connected.
1. Once I have submitted my order, what happens next?
Once you've collected your DNA sample and returned it to us in the pre-paid postage envelope, please allow 3 to 4 weeks from the time you place your DNA samples in the mail until you receive your results. This will allow time for mailing, processing, and testing of your samples.
As soon as we have completed the analysis you will receive an email indicating you can go online to retrieve your results in the secure members area. We have included a video tutorial to help you on the results page and explain what you see.
2. How do you redeem kits using a promo code or discount coupon?
1) Visit www.connectmydna.com and click the green "Order" button
2) Enter your COUPON/voucher number in the "Coupon / Promo Code" box and select green "Apply Coupon Now" button BEFORE moving forward on the page.
3) Enter shipping information and complete purchase
3. Can the CMD kit be shipped overseas?
NO. We are currently only running tests here in the USA and Canada and can only ship to these two countries. We will soon expand to other countries.
4. Is there a way to correct my e-mail address entered incorrectly?
Please contact us through the Contact Us page about this issue and provide us with detailed information so we can look up your account and correct the problem.
5. I purchased a discount voucher and was charged the full amount?
Please contact us through the Contact Us page about this issue and provide us with detailed information so we can look up your account and correct the problem. Please include your voucher number. To avoid this issue in the future, please follow the steps outline in question #2 above on how to redeem coupon/vouchers.
6. How do you fix kits purchased under the wrong name?
Please contact us through the Contact Us page about this issue and provide us with detailed information so we can look up your account and correct the problem.
7. Will I receive confirmation of my purchase?
Yes. You will see a thank you page outlining the ‘Next Steps’ and you will also get an confirmation email after your transaction has been processed. Please allow 24 hours for us to process your transaction.
8. What is my order status?
Please allow 3 to 4 weeks from the time you place your DNA samples in the mail until you receive your results. This will allow time for mailing, processing, and testing of your samples. You may log in through the members area to see if your results are ready at any time. You will get an email once your results are ready letting you know you can log into the member's area and retrieve your results.
9. Is this DNA information you are gathering stored, submitted or sold to any sort of Master Data base or a company that has a database of this sort?
The DNA data generated in the test is used only to generate the report provided to the client and is purged from the system once the testing is completed and the report released. The DNA information is not submitted or sold to any company or organization.
10. What is done with the results and raw data that you have on each person once this information is determined and presented to the owner?
Once the testing is completed and the results provided to the client, all data is purged from our system.
11. Do you sell this information or any parts of this information to third parties?
We DO NOT sell any of the information obtained for the testing to any third parties.
12. Do you compile additional information from the DNA sample not presented to the owner and create data to sell to third parties?
We do not test the DNA for additional markers other than those to generate the DNA Profile, which is provided to the client.