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Confused about MyOrigins results father/daughter

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  • Confused about MyOrigins results father/daughter

    I know ethnicity tests are just estimates. But ... I had a father's and a daughter's
    autosomal DNA tested. They match each other at 3382 cMs, which confirms the father/daughter relationship. Both parents are Swiss with family documented up to 1750s.
    Ethnicity for daughter: 75% West and Central Europe, Southeast Europe 11% Scandinavia 5%, British Isles 3%, Asia Minor 6%
    Ethnicity for father: 68% British Isles, 32% Southeast Europe.
    Ursula has 50% of her father’s DNA, so how can the % for West and Central Europe be so high if her father does not show any West and Central Europe?

  • #2
    While the daughter must get half of her father's DNA, there is no guarantee WHICH HALF she will get. Recombination and the random assortment of homologous chromosomes work together to transmit discrete segments drawn randomly from the father's paternal and maternal homologues. It is very possible for the daughter to end up with more than half of the father's maternal DNA, for instance, and the difference will be made by a corresponding deficit of the father's paternal DNA.

    Beyond the statistical aspect of this problem, it is not necessarily true (we have no way of knowing) that the "ethnic origins" algorithms use SNP's that are uniformly distributed across all chromosomes, or that the algorithms behave in a linear dose-response fashion so that, for example, a 12 percent Southeast Europe score actually means you have 12 percent of DNA that came from a Southeast European ancestor. The results reported in this forum suggest to me that the algorithms are not that well behaved. It is also apparent that the algorithms rely on a large number of unstated assumptions, since they will have to use DNA samples from living humans with unproven genealogies as proxies for presumed historical populations that we can't actually sample.