Chief geneticist at a popular ancestry company admits it's 'kind of a science and an art'
One set of identical twins, two different ancestry profiles.
At least that's the suggestion from one of the world's largest ancestry DNA testing companies.
Last spring, Marketplace host Charlsie Agro and her twin sister, Carly, bought home kits from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA, and mailed samples of their DNA to each company for analysis.
Despite having virtually identical DNA, the twins did not receive matching results from any of the companies.
In most cases, the results from the same company traced each sister's ancestry to the same parts of the world — albeit by varying percentages.
But the results from California-based 23andMe seemed to suggest each twin had unique twists in their ancestry composition.
According to 23andMe's findings, Charlsie has nearly 10 per cent less "broadly European" ancestry than Carly. She also has French and German ancestry (2.6 per cent) that her sister doesn't share.
The identical twins also apparently have different degrees of Eastern European heritage — 28 per cent for Charlsie compared to 24.7 per cent for Carly. And while Carly's Eastern European ancestry was linked to Poland, the country was listed as "not detected" in Charlsie's results.
"The fact that they present different results for you and your sister, I find very mystifying," said Dr. Mark Gerstein, a computational biologist at Yale University.