More and more people are diving into their origins with the help of DNA tests. Our tree of life is considered to be all the genetic information we carry within our DNA. Thanks to the Age of Information, we now have direct access to our ancestry. So, DNA tests allow a human being to trace their relatives 6-8 generations back in time. But, what types of tests are out there, and which test offers the most accurate information?

Why Get a DNA Test?

Why do so many people opt for a DNA test? The two purposes of DNA testing involve discovering transgenerational knowledge and finding preliminary health information.

Genetic Testing For Health Purposes

Genetic testing is a type of medical examination that can spot changes to your genes, chromosomes, or proteins. These mutations can reveal whether you have a genetic disorder or not. Moreover, DNA testing can also determine your likelihood of contracting a certain disease or passing on a genetic problem.

The most complete kind of DNA test for genetic testing examines genes, chromosomes, and proteins. This process involves a healthcare provider collecting a sample from you. Depending on why you’re testing, samples can include blood, hair, skin, tissue, or amniotic fluid (for prenatal testing). 

Testing for Mutations

An analysis of your DNA will find changes or mutations in your genes that may cause or increase your risk for a genetic disorder. One example would be an extra copy of a chromosome in your DNA signifying a propensity for developing Down Syndrome, Edward syndrome, and Patau syndrome.

People who undergo DNA tests for preliminary health information often want to know their chances of developing a disease. In addition, they also want to know the probability of passing it down to their future children. These kinds of genetic analyses are known as diagnostic testing and carrier testing. 

Carrier testing tells you if you carry a copy of a mutated gene, usually inherited from both parents. In cases where a parent carries a disposition to the same disease that your other parent’s family is also disposed to, carrier testing is helpful.

The statistics uncovered in genetic testing (predictive and presymptomatic) provide an avenue of prevention for likely emerging conditions to subdue. The results can bring peace of mind to curious health enthusiasts, worried parents, and all people alike. 

DNA Testing For Tree of Life Information

If we’re talking DNA testing for ancestry purposes, you’ll want to go with a company that has a large database for the most accurate results. Some companies even offer an opt-in to family connections. When relatives are located through DNA testing, a company may be able to provide you with contact information for potential matches.

An important thing to consider when trusting a company with your genetic information is finding out who else they share it with. Many of the online genetic companies that offer DNA testing will provide your genetic results to public consumers unless you refuse to consent. But, why would this be a problem for you?

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“People do think they are helping the world, helping society, even though they may not as an individual benefit,” King said. “But, if your DNA helps develop a drug for a pharmaceutical company, there is nothing governing what they do. It could be a drug they sell at a high profit but doesn’t help the world become a better place.”

The truth is, there are big privacy risks and no guarantee your genetic information won’t be shared for various purposes. Perhaps in the future, we will see clearer guidelines and regulations around DNA testing for ancestry. This way, we can assure that a client’s information won’t be used for profit.

DNA Tests For Both Health Conditions & Ancestry

DNA tests exist for both preliminary health conditions and ancestry services. You may be asking, “How much is a DNA test?” It depends on what you are testing for. An accurate genetic test for health purposes with a trained DNA analyst is different from DNA testing for family origins. Visit our page to learn more about what we have to offer at Soteria Screening Laboratories.

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