Having quadruplets is a great surprise for any family, and the secrets of their genes always make people wonder at the mystery of human life. A mother of quads got inspiration from the rare identical quadruplets and wanted to know how her genes were differently divided into her children. But an unexpected fact surprised the whole family.
1. Where Everything Started
Tim and Bethani are a couple from Canada who got married in their early twenties and started thinking about having children straight away. Shortly after their wedding in June 2015, Bethani fell pregnant. When the new parents attended a routine scan, the nurse delivered some unexpected but pretty awesome news.
2. One-In-A-Million Quadruplets
When the nurse said they were expecting quadruplets, Bethani and Tim couldn't even believe their ears! The probability of conceiving quadruplets without any aid of fertility treatment is about one in 729,000! No wonder that they were shocked by this news. However, more surprises are waiting for them.
3. Identical Quadruplets
The Webbs got some even more fantastic news: All four of their babies were female! Besides, these four lovely girls were all identical, which carries a chance of one in over 15 million. What a miracle! But were they biologically identical too?
4. New Exploration
Identical quadruplets are extremely rare because they share almost the same DNA. Usually, non-identical quadruplets are much more common. But how are their genes divided in their bodies? One San Francisco mom of non-identical quads wanted to find the answer. But when she and the family studied their ancestry test results, they were rather shocked.
5. Scientific Advances
Before we tell the story, let's ask a question first: How is the ancestry test done? Thanks to genetics and technological progress, scientists are able to find out a family's heritage by testing the DNA since 2017. All you need to do is send in a sample of your saliva and pay a small fee. Thereafter, you simply wait for the results.
6. Ancestry DNA
Hence, to see if these DNA testing kits worked as promised, this San Francisco mom Amy Jones created an online account on Ancestry DNA. Then, she mailed in a test tube full of saliva to be analyzed and received their genetic information electronically. But the results truly surprised her.
7. Surprising Results
Unexpectedly, Ancestry DNA told Jones that she and her family were Irish! Before seeing the report, they'd never thought about their bloodlines. Jones' parents kept asking: "Are we really?" They were still doubtful about this shocking news. However, Jones still hadn't got what she wanted.
8. The True Purpose
Jones' real purpose was to determine how her genes were divided into her four non-identical quadruplets and to also check the test's accuracy. Due to her non-identical quads, their DNA results would be more persuasive. In this way, they could confirm their Irish bloodlines.
9. Jones Quad Squad
Unlike other quadruplets, Jones' four children are two sets of twins: While Seth and Gabe are identical, Katie and Hugh are fraternal twins. The Johnes Quad Squad provided four sets of shared DNA to determine the accuracy of the two websites: Ancestry DNA and 23andMe.
10. Different DNA Samples
To ensure that the experiment was as blind as possible, they sent in the children's DNA samples with different names and ethnicities marked from various cities. In this way, they could effectively avoid being cheated by the website.
11. Another Unexpected Answer
The results of the identical twins among the quadruplets were unsurprisingly similar. Both of them were around 71% northwestern European and almost 7% British and Irish. However, Jones was shocked to see the exact result.
12. More Irish Bloodlines
According to the test results, Gabe and Seth were deemed even more Irish than Jones. At first, she questioned the accuracy of the test. Nevertheless, what happened next left her speechless.
13. Katie's Results
Jones didn't know how to explain the DNA analysis of Katie, fraternal twin to Hugh. Katie had over 15% British and Irish ancestry line, a much higher rate than her brothers and Jones. When they were about to confront the websites, the DNA expert Dr. Ruth Ballard explained that this was normal for fraternal twins.
14. Explanation Of Dr. Ballard
Dr. Ballard explained that fraternal twins have greater genetic differences because one might take more of the specific DNA from a particular part of the family. Katie's Irish bloodline was probably obtained from Jones and her grandparents. Hence, Jones could breathe a sigh of relief about her DNA breakdown, which she had once questioned.
15. Interesting Discoveries
In this trip of DNA testing, Jones not only found that her ancestors were likely Irish, but also got some interesting findings regarding genetics in general. For one thing, Ancestry DNA connected users with other potential family members who had also done tests on the site. Hence, some unknown relationships between them would be revealed.
16. Some Worries
But Jones never considered the possibility that her DNA would be used to connect her to other website customers. She only wanted to find out how her genes were divided into her children's bodies. Indeed, her concerns were reasonable.
17. Warning From Dr. Ballard
Jones didn't have to worry about this problem since the linked DNA came from her quadruplets. However, Dr. Ballard warned that other customers should be prepared for possible connections and unexpected relationships.
For example, according to Dr. Ballard, the matching feature would reconnect sperm and egg donors with their biological children. Thus, some users may shockingly discover that they had been adopted. In other words, "it can show non-paternity and other issues in your family," Dr. Ballard explained.
19. An Optional Part
Considering all these concerns, Ancestry DNA includes the DNA Match feature as an optional part of the genetic testing process. Despite all this, Dr. Ballard still emphasized that users should think carefully before sending the test tube.
20. Optimistic Perspective
After carefully checking the privacy settings, users can get more meaningful information about their roots through the heritage test. It's an interesting process for many people like Jones, who said: "I thought that might be kind of fun to know where I come from."