Medical and Insurance Issues

Both Y-DNA and mtDNA do not have coded regions suitable for medical or insurance liability issues. Additionally, the areas tested for Genetic Genealogy are limited to markers which are considered "junk" DNA.

Here are some facts to help you to understand the issues:

- For a court to obtain your DNA, they may request access to your records from the labs where you have had your genealogical tests taken. These labs have stringent requiremnets for data retention and use. Your genealogical DNA test is not in a "controlled chain of custody" meaning that because it is sent through the mail, it is handled by people out of the control of testing company and lab. This would not stand up as evidence for use in any court of law. It is more likely that a court would request new DNA testing as your genealogical DNA tests are not relevant as above.

- The types of DNA used for genetic genealogical testing cannot be used to identify you. Why? If you are a male, your brother, your father, your grandfather, all have the same Y-chromosome as you and an individual cannot be singularly identified using the Y-chromosome. A well-known example of this is that Thomas Jefferson cannot be ascertained as the father of Sally Hemmings' children since other Jefferson males share the same Y-chromosome. The same also applies to mitochondrial DNA; you receive it from your mother, and all of your siblings have identiacl mtDNA as you do and so it cannot be used to individually identify you as an individual.

-The section of the Y-chromosome used for genealogical DNA testing is non-coding DNA, in that it does not recombine (mix) or have any known uses other than to fill the spaces in between your genes. However, because this Y-DNA does not mix, and it changes very slowly (mutates) it's beneficial for use in genealogical applications.

-With mitochondrial DNA testing, the portion that's tested is a region known as the "Hypervariable Region" ( HVR) which like the Y-chromosome DNA, does not mix and it changes very slowly. Both HVR1 and HVR2 tests which are used for genealogical and deep ancestry purposes, do not reveal any medical conditions. However, a full mitochondrial sequence test may reveal medical conditions, but this information is not analyzed by your testing facility, you would need to seek further analysis from a specialist. The full sequence test results are not public information, nor made available to a DNA Project Administrator.

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