FAQ: Participation, Testing, and Results

  1. How do I know what Geno version I have?
  2. What is my Genographic Project ID (GPID) for?
  3. What do I do if I’ve lost my Participant ID?
  4. How do I locate my Genographic Project Participant ID?
  5. What can I expect from the Geno 2.0 Next Generation and Geno 2.0 Next Generation Helix co-brand test?
  6. I purchased the Genographic kit and sent in my samples. What happens next?
  7. What is the shelf life of the Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit?
  8. How will the results for a male and a female participant differ?
  9. Where are the DNA samples processed?

  1. How do I know what Geno version I have?

    The actual product will tell you everything you need to know. If you have a white Helix box that slides inside a black case, that is the Geno 2.0 Next Gen Helix Product Kit. This kit is processed by our partner lab, Helix.  If you have a black box that opens on the right side, that is either our Geno 2.0 Next Gen Kit, or Geno 2.0 or Geno 1.0 kit.  These three versions of the kit are processed by our partner lab, FTDNA.

  2. What is my Genographic Project ID (GPID) for?

    A Genographic Project Participant ID is a randomly generated, anonymous, nonsequential, alphanumeric code assigned to your DNA sample for processing and analysis. Your GPID is located on the inside front cover of  your kit.

    For Geno 1.0., Geno 2.0 and Geno 2.0 Next Generation kits (these versions were available for purchase prior to November 21, 2016 and use a cheek swab DNA collection method as opposed to saliva collection) PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE THEIR PARTICIPANT ID IN ORDER TO ACCESS THEIR RESULTS.  If you lose your Genographic Project ID we cannot recover it for you or provide you with any other means of accessing the results of your participation unless you have previously registered  your GPID on the website

  3. What do I do if I’ve lost my Participant ID?

    If you lose your Genographic Project ID (GPID) and have not previously registered it on the site, you will not be able to access your results. Genographic Project IDs are randomly and anonymously assigned, and National Geographic does not know which Genographic Project ID has been sent to you in your kit.  Anyone who purchased a Geno 2.0 Next Generation Helix co-branded kit (these kits went on sale November 21, 2016) will have to register on genographic.com and helix.com with an email address and password to receive their results.

  4. How do I locate my Genographic Project Participant ID?

    Geno 2.0 or Later Version
    The kit displays the Participant ID in two locations—on the inside front cover of the kit that you received, and in the upper right corner of Step 3 of the Quick Start Guide & Consent Form that was included in your kit.

    Geno 1.0
    The kit from the first phase of the project displays the Genographic Participant ID (also referred to as a “GPID”) on the inside front cover of the kit, and in the upper left corner of the Consent panel and Information panel on the Consent to DNA Testing form that was included in your kit.

  5. What can I expect from the Geno 2.0 Next Generation and Geno 2.0 Next Generation Helix co-brand test?

    With simple cheek swab or saliva sample, you can collect your own DNA and submit it to our laboratory where we will run one participant test per kit. We will test your mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down each generation from mother to child and reveals your direct maternal deep ancestry, and—if you are male—your Y chromosome, which is passed down from father to son and reveals your direct paternal deep ancestry. These male and female lineages will be scanned for thousands of genetic markers, providing the richest phylogenetic resolution. The new test also scans more than 250,000 (autosomal) markers from across your entire genome that were inherited from both your mother and father, revealing insights into those ancestors who are not on a strictly maternal or paternal line. Included among these markers is a set that will also reveal if you are carrying DNA that came from our hominin cousins, the Neanderthals (You can see a selection of sample results on the Buy the Kit page.)

  6. I purchased the Genographic kit and sent in my samples. What happens next?

    Once you return your genetic samples, they will be processed at either Helix or Family Tree DNA, depending on which kit you have.  These labs are the Genographic Project’s two testing partners. From the time you return your samples to the lab, it will take approximately eight weeks to test your DNA, analyze the specimens, and upload the results to the Genographic website. (Please note that in some cases, inconclusive data may occasionally require additional testing and might delay posting of results by two to three additional weeks.)

    Approximately 10 days after you send in your samples, you can begin tracking where your samples are in the testing process by visiting the Genographic website and selecting Check Results. After you register, you will be able to see what stage of testing your samples are in, following along step by step as your samples are being tested and analyzed. Once your results are ready, you will be able to view them on the website.

    During login, you will asked to register and create an account. When you register, you will begin receiving email updates letting you know when your samples enter each testing phase. Registering allows National Geographic to help you retrieve your results, if you ever lose your login information.

  7. What is the shelf life of the Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit?

    For the Geno 2.0 Next Gen Helix co-brand kit, please note that Helix requires that you return a saliva sample with a certain timeframe after you place an order to help to assure the quality and accuracy of your genetic information.  If you have a DNA Collection Kit that is past Helix’s timeframe for processing, you may contact Helix Customer Care at 1-844-211-2070 to request a replacement kit.  Helix charges a replacement fee for such kit. If Helix receives your DNA Collection Kit after the timeframe for processing has expired, they will give you the option to receive a replacement kit for the replacement fee (typically a minimum of $25) and shipping and handling fees.  Depending on the circumstances, a fee may apply.  Please see Helix’s Replacement Policy for more details.  Participants should check that there is ample fluid in the the saliva tube included in the kit. If there is no fluid, the participant should contact Helix customer service at 844-211-2070 to receive a replacement.

    For the Geno 2.0 Next Generation kit (not the Helix co-brand version), the kit is designed to last up to a year, but we recommend that you mail in your kit within a few months of purchasing it to ensure that the optimal amount of DNA is preserved and ready to be analyzed. The Geno 2.0 Next Generation kit must be sent back within 12 months of purchasing it. National Geographic reserves the right to not conduct tests of kits sent back to us more than 12 months after purchase, and no refunds will be given.

  8. How will the results for a male and a female participant differ?

    Since females do not possess a Y chromosome, their direct ancient paternal line of descent cannot be traced by this genetic test, but females still receive results for their maternal line. Males’ results include information on both their ancient paternal and maternal lines. However, both females and males will receive their Regional and Hominin results, which detail the percentage composition of your DNA, and which are derived from testing more than 250,000 other markers that were passed on from both mother and father and will represent both sides.

  9. Where are the DNA samples processed?

    Participant samples are processed by one of National Geographic’s partner labs in either San Diego, California (Helix) or Houston, Texas (Family Tree DNA).