Swab, ye hearties!

Diane and I have just finished collecting DNA samples to send to the Genographic Project. I found it very strange that the only information required when you send in a sample is a form stating what sex you are — I’d expect that to be obvious from the DNA. (The form is also the consent form to allow one’s DNA to be analyzed — it is an anonymous consent form, which, itself, is an interesting concept.)

The collection process is very simple — you use a swab to take a little tissue from your cheek. And then eight or more hours later, you do it again (I chose to use the other cheek :-)) to make it more likely to get a good sample.

Then you put the samples in the mail, and in a few weeks, you check the website, input your random id (Diane’s and mine differ significantly, even though our kits arrived in the same mailing box, so there is a good deal of randomness in the assignment), get the results, and the opportunity to contribute your data in the aggregated results the project is creating.

The most painful part was paying for the kit!