What is a DNA raw data file and how does it look like?
A DNA raw data is a file that contains information about your genetic variants. These are called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs and account for the differences in different traits like eye and hair color, height, and skin pigmentation across individuals.
It is usually downloadable in the form of a text, zip, or CSV file. When opened, you should see different columns that typically represent:
- The SNP - denoted as ‘rs’ followed by a number; Example: rs12127425
- The chromosome and the exact genomic location/position; Example: chromosome 1 position 794332
- Your genotype for that variant; Example: GG
Most genetic ancestry testing companies let you download your DNA raw data file along with your ancestry test results, which can be analyzed to extract useful health information. Companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe provide your DNA raw data in a text file format, which in some cases may be compressed as zip files when downloaded. Other companies like MyHeritage and FTDNA provide your DNA raw data in the CSV file format.