President gives DNA sample for ancestry test

President David Granger was among the first to have samples taken for the conduct of an Ancestry Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid (DNA) test in Guyana, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency said today.

The test is being launched for the first time in this country by Eureka Medical Laboratory and Shawn Manbodh, Quality Manager and Medical Technologist visited State House to take the President’s sample as part of their launching activities.

The release said that Manbodh explained to the President that the test results would allow him to understand his ancestral genetic make-up. “It basically tells about your lineage. It can tell what make-up you have… Let’s say for instance in a Guyanese person; how much percentage of African and how much percentage East Indian and how much percent is Chinese…” he said.

These percentages are not always obvious as Manbodh said that someone’s physical characteristics might reflect an ethnicity that accounts for 40 percent of a person’s genetic make-up but other parts of a person’s lineage may be dominant in ways that are not externally obvious.

Shawn Manbodh taking the DNA sample from President David Granger (Ministry of the Presidency photo)
Shawn Manbodh taking the DNA sample from President David Granger (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

While Ancestry DNA not often considered a necessity but more to satisfy a person’s desire to understand where they came from, Manbodh said that this type of test can become very important when trying to diagnose illnesses. For example, if someone were to present symptoms of an illness that is uncommon among members of their perceived race, it would be useful for a doctor to know what other ethnicity or race makes up their ancestry in order to help with diagnoses.

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