Regional Ancestry allows you to dive deep into ancestral origins, but why are your results sometimes different than in other products?
These are interpretations. The pattern of variations one can find in the innumerable genetic positions, A, C, G, and T, across the human genome is the “truest” result we could provide. A raw string of DNA, however, is not interpretable to most people.
It is far easier to understand one’s affinity to 20 population clusters than 100,000 marker positions. Therefore, scientifically, it is the norm to take the raw data and interpret it through a model where the elements are different populations. The goal is not to give the user the raw result but a result they can use to interpret their own history and population affinities.
Different choices are made in the steps of interpretation by different companies. The possibility of populations one can use to interpret an individual genome are innumerable, but to make the results useful and comprehensible, one must choose a select number. The populations a company may choose is in part dependent on the particular threads of human history they want to highlight. If one wants to emphasize Asian population history, one might choose more Asian populations. If one wants to explore deep history, one might select ancient populations which no longer exist outside of partial sequences of DNA. At Insitome we have focused on-European ancestry in particular Regional Ancestry, with four clusters from south to north in East Asia, and an accurate representation of diversity in South Asia.
When you are choosing ancestry tests, you are choosing an interpretation. Just as you may watch a different interpretation of a classical play or film to gain a different perspective, so the different tests which attempt to plumb the depths of your ancestry will give you somewhat different insights.