Better reference panels means better a better ancestry profile."
In my earlier article about my experience with AncestryDNA, I told you about how the old East Asia result covered most countries in Asia. It made it difficult for someone with an Asian heritage to understand their ancestry. In fact Ancestry DNA was so unhelpful I was even classified by Ancestry DNA as having a distinct Polynesian heritage (as much as 25 per cent).
Finally, Ancestry DNA has more data from an expanded reference panel, double of what was previously the case. I can say I am more satisfied with my DNA estimate. In my previous article Ancestry DNA estimates of my ancestry were not up to scratch and there were better offerings from 23andMe and other analysis sites.
So, what's changed?
A lot has changed. It's clear that the Ancestry DNA estimates are more precise than ever before. I am less surprised and more content with the Ancestry DNA estimate. For starters the Polynesia result is gone. Second, the agglomeration of 17 countries is gone, leaving behind a neat 84% Philippines result. The results are sharper and make more sense.
Ancestry DNA has a simple explanation for these improved profiles - Ancestry DNA now boast 16,000 reference samples instead of 3,000 screening out less-likely regions. Ancestry DNA suggests that more precise ancestry results are possible as more data and the science behind DNA analysis improves.
Tufts explains that individual ancestry services draw from its own database of DNA samples. A database of DNA samples will contain populations from around the world. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the markers used that have different frequencies across geographic populations. Better reference panels means better a better ancestry profile.
Future users of Ancestry DNA will have less confusing results. For example when interpreting your 'American' descent, you will see that Ancestry DNA regions include 42 regions:
Ancestry DNA states that over time they may provide more precise ethnicity estimates.
The full list of regions tested are available here.