If you would like to participate in the Calabria DNA Project, you are more than welcome to submit a DNA sample at this time. However, my suggestion is that it is more prudent to wait several years (between 2 to 6 years is my guess) until the technology advances to the point where they can test your entire DNA sequence—all 4 billion base pairs—-rather than just testing a mere 1% of your DNA that they are capable of testing now. That way, you will be able to find out about ALL your ancestors in depth, and not just get a general idea of who a few of your ancestors are, which is the case today.
If you have an elderly relative whose DNA you want to save for future testing, I would suggest having their DNA saved at Prevention Genetics, where they will extract and store a person’s DNA for future use for only $98. In my opinion, it is important to save older relatives DNA, because they carry a history of your ancestors in their genes that is unique and will be lost forever once they are gone.
If you have to do a test today, because the curiosity is getting the best of you, then there are a few companies I would recommend testing with. Just remember that if you test now, though, you will want to submit another DNA sample in the future, in order to find out the full scope of your DNA results. One company I recommend is Family Tree DNA, where you can order through the Calabria, Italy DNA Project at a discounted rate. There I would recommend a Y-DNA test, mtDNA test or Family Finder test. Another company I would recommend is 23andMe, where you can test your Y-DNA, mtDNA, and overall autosomal DNA to get a picture of your overall ethnic make-up for $99. (In the future, you may not need to “order” a test, as it might be standard for your medical doctor to routinely do a full sequence DNA test on you). Please let me know if you do order a DNA test from one of these companies, so I can include your DNA test results in this project.
The ultimate goal of this project is to accumulate a database of full DNA sequences from people from the villages of Gioiosa Ionica, Martone, and Grotteria in Reggio Calabria, so that we can compare them to a world-wide database to determine the history and origin of the many DNA segments that made it to our part of Calabria, which will also allow us to create a “family tree” based on DNA to see who is related to who and how our DNA fits into the bigger picture of humanity.
If you have an interest in this project, especially if you want to test your full DNA sequence when the technology becomes available, please e-mail me so I can save your contact information to keep you updated on the progress that the scientists are making.
Also, feel free to email me about any questions or comments you have about the project and I will get back to you shortly!