From NBC4.com News November 28, 2005
Some consider researching ancestry to be the country's most popular hobby. Now, a powerful tool in law enforcement is being used in hopes of pinpointing a person's ancestry.
A handful of companies have made DNA testing more affordable, but does it work?
For people searching for clues to their past, DNA testing may help fill in some gaps in their ancestry, but some wonder if it can reveal their roots.
NBC 4's Cabot Rea wanted to find out. So, he bought a DNA test for $99 through Family Tree DNA. For the test, he sent two samples of cheek cells and in six weeks, the results arrived.
The results were difficult to understand, but the company's Web site offered a personal description for customers. On the page, 12 genetic markers helped Rea trace the migration pattern of his ancestors and his ethnic makeup.
"Your travel route out of Africa ? then northward into central Asia, at which point maybe 35,000, 40,000 years ago, they started moving backward into Europe and gotten to Europe before the last ice age started," said Bennett Greenspan, president of Family Tree DNA.
As the glacier receded, Rea's ancestors moved north into the British Isles. His test results seemed to confirm the route. Of 190 exact matches to his DNA, 52 are in England and 43 are in Ireland.
NBC 4's Bob Nunnally also took the DNA test.
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