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Learn About Your Genetic Ancestry When You Join All of Us

Learn About Your Genetic Ancestry When You Join All of Us

The All of Us Research Program is building the largest and most inclusive health research initiative of its kind. With more information, researchers can see patterns emerge, make new discoveries, and better understand disease.

There are many benefits to joining All of Us and your participation could speed up health research. As an All of Us participant, one exciting benefit you could qualify for is DNA results.

Your DNA carries a record of generations past

You get half of your DNA from each of your biological parents. Because of this, your DNA can tell you about your genetic ancestors from the last few hundred years. 

What you can learn

Your genetic ancestry tells you where your recent ancestors likely lived. This is based on your DNA. Before global travel became possible, people from the same region shared patterns of DNA. As they migrated and blended with others from different geographic regions, these DNA patterns became mixed.

How it works and why your participation matters

When you join the All of Us Research Program, you can provide blood (or saliva) samples. These samples contain your DNA.  All of Us uses a method called genotyping to generate data about your DNA. Genotyping looks at a small amount of DNA that gives us information about many of the more common DNA changes among us.

To create your genetic ancestry results, All of Us then compares your DNA to publicly available DNA datasets. These datasets have information about groups of people who are known to have lived in a specific area of the world. Then we can tell you how much of your DNA comes from a certain part of the world.

These datasets currently have more DNA information from people with ancestors from Europe. This means genetic ancestry results may be more detailed for people with European genetic ancestry.

But All of Us participants have ancestors from many regions of the world. As more and more All of Us participants provide a DNA sample, the more diverse and accurate genetic ancestry information can become for everyone.

How to get your results

To get your genetic ancestry results from All of Us, you will first need to go through the Consent to Get DNA Results in your All of Us account. Answer “Yes” to tell All of Us that you want your DNA results in general. Later, when All of Us is ready to create your genetic ancestry report, All of Us will contact you to check if you want those specific results. If you say “Yes”, you will get those results when they are ready.

Want to discover the story your genetics have to tell? Get started at JoinAllofUs.org/marys-center.