DNA Testing

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Trace your ancestor's journey and discover your heritage with America's best DNA Testing services.

Last updated June 2024
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Choosing a DNA Testing Service Provider

Over the years, the consumer base of DNA testing services in the US has grown rapidly, with more people resorting to home DNA test kits. There is no doubt that the advancement of sequencing technology has had some significant contribution to this phenomenon. DNA genetic testing is understood from different viewpoints, including the legal, medical, and the research perspectives, when soliciting genetic consultations. But what exactly is DNA testing, and how does it work? Here is a guide on everything that you should know before you choose a DNA testing service.

What is DNA Genetic Testing?

DNA, an acronym for Deoxyribonucleic Acid, is the hereditary substance found in human beings, and that holds critical biological information about them. DNA genetic testing is a medical examination involving the extraction of DNA from a person’s cells to establish changes in proteins, genes, or chromosomes. The test is typically performed on the patient’s blood, amniotic fluid, skin, hair, or other body tissues.

How DNA Testing Works

DNA testing is a procedure comprising of several activities. Whether you are doing it from home using a test kit or by the help of a specialist, DNA genetic testing works the same. To understand how it works, it is essential to look into the entire DNA testing process.

Sample Collection

A DNA sample is collected from strands of your hair or any bodily fluids such as saliva, blood, or the amniotic fluid for pregnant women. Some specialists, however, can apply an invasive method such as the buccal swab DNA test,which collects the DNA sample from the inside of the patient’s cheek.

DNA Extraction

The process of DNA extraction is necessary for exposing the DNA in cells for use in testing. It involves two phases, including the Lysis and the Separation phases. Lysis consists of the breakdown of cell membranes by adding an enzyme into the DNA sample solution. The most common method applied in the Separation phase is electrophoresis, which applies an electric field to separate the DNA molecular structure from the rest of the sample.

DNA Copying

This involves the use of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique to produce DNA copies, which are then tested for genetic markers.

Testing and Matching

This is the last phase of the DNA testing procedures. It involves identifying genetic markers in the DNA copies produced, which are then used to make a match against an unknown DNA sample.

DNA Testing Results

Once the testing and matching phase have been finalized, the results are used to establish whether thedonor of the tested DNA sample shares a similar genetical heritage with that of unknown DNA sample donor. From these test results, you can learn the following;

• Whether one person is the biological parent of another.
• The risk of a person to develop particular hereditary diseases like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and Huntington’s disease.
• Establishing whether an individual is predisposed to certain traits such as obesity and lactose intolerance.
• Establishing whether a person has a mutation for a particular disorder.
• To identify the ancestry or ethnic background of an individual.

Who Needs to Use DNA Genetical Testing?

Having a DNA test is voluntary. However, DNA genetical testing is a significant need across certain spheres. It is necessary for the following people to run a DNA test;

Forensic Scientists

Forensic scientists rely on science, especially DNA tests when undertaking criminal investigations in their efforts to produce admissible evidence required by law.DNA tests are perfect for the unique identification of individuals. Numerous criminal cases can be solved by running DNA tests from samples collected at the scene of a crime.

Transplant Surgeons

DNA testing is necessary when identifying a compatible donor for an organ transplant. Transplant surgeons will run several testsbeing carrying out a transplant surgery, one of which is the DNA test.

The Jury

Various legal situations will require DNA tests to be done before making a conclusive judgment on a case. One of the most popular of such cases is the establishment of an individual’s paternity to make a judgment on child support or custody, inheritance rights, adoption, or even migration. In such cases, the jury can only rely on DNA tests as substantial evidence.

How to Choose a DNA Testing Service Provider

When looking for a reliable DNA testing service provider, you will not only need one who supplies your DNA results but also a provider who will offer you professional advice and recommendations. Here are some of the things to look out for in a DNA Testing service provider;

• Names and credentials of genetical scientists or specialists working in that institution.
• Their privacy policy and terms of service.
• A description of DNA test results.
• Their DNA testing products.
• Sample storage facilities.
• Data Safety.
• Size of the company’s DNA testing database