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What DNA ancestry tests can — and can’t — tell you

I took a DNA ancestry test. It didn’t tell me where my ancestors came from.

At-home DNA ancestry tests have become hugely popular in recent years. More than 26 million have taken one, and if the kits’ marketing is to be believed, the tests can help you learn where your DNA comes from — and even where your ancestors lived.

But the information that can be inferred from your DNA is actually much more limited than testing companies are letting on. And that has led consumers to misinterpret their results, which is having negative consequences.

Watch the video above to find out how DNA ancestry tests actually work. Then be sure to check out Verge Science’s report on how this treasure trove of genetic data could be used to track you down — even if you’ve never taken a DNA ancestry test.

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