The home DNA test continues to grow in popularity. People are interested in what their genes and DNA can tell them. So far, over 25 million people have chosen to get themselves tested in one fashion or another.
A Home DNA test is admittedly somewhat limited, but it does provide some interesting insights. The medical information that is gained can’t be taken as doctrine. However, it provides the potential for certain information. The genetic markers that are detected means that the potential for diseases is there down the line. Certainly a DNA test is no replacement for medical diagnosis. However, every little bit of information can be useful when looking into your future. It’s somewhat ironic that the information comes from your past.
Medical Information You Can Learn
The medical information in a DNA test comes from an examination of chromosomes and the genes within. Each person has 23 chromosomes (thus the name of one brand of DNA testing, 23andme) which determine their makeup. The medical information is based on predetermined risks. For example, if a rare disease affects 1 in every 1,000,000 million people, but your genes suggest it could occur 1 in 100,000, then you’d be at a 10x higher risk of getting the disease! That being said, it doesn’t mean you’re at a high risk level. Testing for rare and odd conditions can also provide false positives of risk. So again, take the information provided with at least a grain of salt. Prescription kits can be used in scenarios like preparation for in vitro fertilization or freezing eggs for future reproduction. It’s intended to work as a guideline for future decision making and preparation.
The other medical information is about traits that a person carries. Not necessarily heavily medical in nature, but things that affect lifestyle are in play. People can learn if they have a predisposition to chocolate or to salty snacks! Much of this information is used for enjoyment and entertainment.
The DNA kits started as a way for people to learn more about their body and their ancestry. Websites like Ancestry.ca created the AncestryDNA kit in an effort to give people more information into their background. There’s two aspects, one is tracking actual ancestry, while the other aspect is the general information of how a body’s DNA strand is made up.
Actual ancestry information works together with information provided through other means. A genetic test can trace a family line. Often, they can show how a family travelled into different regions and how those travels may have impacted the genetic line.
When it comes to genetic aspects, many people are shocked to find out where some of their dna comes from. Rather than giving specific countries like many people do, tests will return regions. Specific regions tend towards different attributes. The AncestryDNA test breaks things down into 150 different regions.
How Does a Home DNA Test Work
The good news is that a home DNA test is incredibly easy to participate in. After purchasing a kit, you will be sent what you need. Most kits simply require saliva on a swap. That is then returned in a sterile container and analyzed. The information is then sent in both digital and hard copy formats (unless only digital is requested).
DNA kits run at a variety of costs. They can start around $70 and then run up to around $200. Many are variable and depends on which kind of reports a person wants. There’s even kits for your beloved canine friends which can let you know which breeds they come from!