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April’s DNA sales

It will be 63 years come Monday.

That’s the anniversary of the day when Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announced they were sure that the structure of DNA was the double helix — an event “considered by many to be one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th Century.”1

FTDNASale-v2They weren’t the only ones working on the issue, and their work has been criticized for not adequately crediting the foundation laid by British biophysicist Rosalind Franklin,2 but they’re the ones who published it and, with Maurice Wilkins, were later awarded the Nobel Prize for its discovery.

And to remember that achievement, and to honor the completion in 2003 of the Human Genome Project, April 25th is recognized as National DNA Day 3 — a day to “offer students, teachers and the public an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances might impact their lives.”

It’s an official thing, even, with the United States Congress commending “scientists in the United States and many other countries, fueled by curiosity and armed with ingenuity, have unraveled the mysteries of human heredity and deciphered the genetic code linking one generation to the next” and recognizing “the sequencing of the human genome as one of the most significant scientific accomplishments of the past one hundred years.”4

And we can get into the act ourselves by getting our own — or a cousin’s — DNA tested — with a discount from at least two of the DNA testing companies in their annual DNA Day sales.

Family Tree DNA

You’ll have to wait to place your order until close to the end of the business day for Family Tree DNA, but it’ll be worth the wait. The sale there will feature savings on autosomal testing (the Family Finder test), on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing and on YDNA tests at several levels.

Here’s what you’ll see once the sale kicks in (and it will some time later today, lasting through Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM Central time):

Test Regular Price Sale Price
Family Finder $99 $79
mtDNA Full Sequence $199 $149
YDNA 37 $169 $129
YDNA 67 $268 $199
YDNA 111 $359 $289
BigY $565 $460
YDNA SNP Packs $119 $109

These are only for new tests and add-ons; upgrades to existing tests may be discounted later this year. And remember: you may need to wait until this afternoon to see these prices on the website!


At AncestryDNA, for US testers, the usual price of $99 for an autosomal DNA kit has been reduced to $79 until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, April 26th. Shipping is extra. As usual, I can’t figure out how to convince Ancestry’s web servers not to automatically insist that I access through the .com site instead of the international sites, so I can’t tell if there’s a sale on for international customers.


And, as last year, it doesn’t appear that 23andMe is playing along with a sale at all this DNA Day. Nothing on its website, nothing on its Facebook page. But the price is showing as $149 on its international website, and $199 on the US website, so…

No excuses now. With sales in effect, it’s time and more than time to get our own — or that cousin’s! — DNA tested.


  1. U.S. Senate S. Con. Res. 10, 108th Congress 1st Session (27 Feb 2003).
  2. See e.g. Jane J. Lee, “6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism,” National Geographic, posted 19 May 2013 ( : accessed 20 Apr 2016).
  3. National Human Genome Research Institute, “NHGRI celebrates National DNA Day with events that promote genomic literacy” ( : accessed 20 Apr 2016).
  4. U.S. Senate S. Con. Res. 10, 108th Congress 1st Session (27 Feb 2003).
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