DNA: Ties that Bind Set for Wednesday

Andrew Paisley, Campus Reporter

An introduction of DNA genetic testing will be available at “DNA: Ties that Bind,” a lecture held from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Charleston Carnegie Public Library.

The lecture, hosted by Eastern’s Academy of Lifelong Learning and taught by Lois Dickenson, a genealogist at the library, will cover the basics of DNA testing.

“The main purpose of the course is to teach the participants why one would want to do a DNA test,” Dickenson said. “We will also learn about the different kinds of DNA tests, their meanings and their limitations.”

In today’s world, DNA testing is popular for genealogical purposes, and many websites are now offering DNA kits, Dickenson said. The idea to have the lecture came from the board of directors of the library during a planning meeting.

“Many people may think that the course is strictly for genealogists or people who do their own family history,” Dickenson said. “This is open to the public, and I know there are several people who are just generally interested.”

Marita Metzke, the project coordinator at the academy, said two of the most popular sites that are offering DNA testing are Ancestry and 23andMe.

Ancestry announced that it has tested more than seven million people, including two million during the last few months of 2017 alone.

Metzke said genealogy services are becoming popular because of all they have to offer as far as DNA and genetic testing.

“People have responded to the test availability and competitive pricing by the millions,” Metzke said. “Advertising has been very successful in capturing a broad audience.  I have been waiting for this class to decide what service to use and what I really want to learn.”

Dickenson said she wants people to know that genealogy is not the only reason people can do DNA testing.

“I think that a lot of people have so many questions about the purpose of DNA testing and why it is a prominent part of genealogy research,” Dickenson said. “In the course, I want to teach the participants that it is not just about genealogy and that anyone can do a DNA test.”

To register for the course, participants can contact Metzke at [email protected].

Andrew Paisley can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].