These days, it’s increasingly likely that someone you know has taken a DNA test. You may not have taken a genetic test yet, but you’re also probably considering doing so. Before you do undergo genetic testing, however, you’d also like a key question answered first: “What can you learn from DNA tests?” The answer is that we can learn a great deal about ourselves from genetic testing.
DNA testing is important because it can help us unlock our genetic code and then learn much about ourselves and our bodies both in the past — such as our ancestry — and in the present. In some cases, genetic testing also reveals what may happen with our bodies in the future by examining mutations in our genetic makeup or DNA sequence. Mutations in our DNA sequence sometimes result in the incorrect functioning of our bodies.
When these genetic mutations are present, it sometimes happens that your body will function improperly, or that a disease will occur. Using DNA testing, it’s also possible to see what the chances are of you developing certain diseases.
There are many companies offering non clinical or consumer-level DNA tests, and what they can reveal generally falls into various lifestyle and fitness categories. These sorts of genetic tests are frequently used to give insights into a person’s ancestry, their present and possible future health, and any questions of paternity. Quality DNA testing kits of these types are offered by several companies in the industry. If you’re trying to find birth parents online, a good genealogy company can help.
It’s also good to know that the best DNA testing companies rely on teams of scientists and a great deal of data to help people understand genetic relatedness and track their ancestral heritage. The newest forms of nonclinical DNA testing also promise to look at a person’s genetic makeup and then use a health-coaching app to generate personalized exercise and diet advice. It’s also important to note that almost all consumer-level as well as medical-level DNA tests rely on a mouth swab, a skin scraping, a blood test, or a hair sample to derive their results
Quality consumer-level DNA tests are regulated, though medical-level tests are normally highly regulated. Medical genetic testing is typically used by doctors to help confirm genetic diseases in people experiencing symptoms associated with those diseases. For example, these medical-level DNA tests can confirm if you’re suffering from certain hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and Huntington’s disease. In all, these genetic tests are now being used to identify 2,000 hereditary diseases and conditions, and they’re very accurate and highly reliable.
If you have a documented history of a family disease such as diabetes, presymptomatic DNA tests may also be able to tell you whether you’ll eventually develop that disease. Presymptomatic genetic tests analyze or look at specific markers in a person’s genes that are seen in diseases like diabetes. Doctors can look at your presymptomatic DNA test’s results to predict whether you’re at risk of developing the disease that runs in your family.
Brave New World
DNA tests offered by the best companies in the industry are continuing to reveal the deepest secrets of our bodies. These companies and their tests are helping create a brave new world of people unafraid of knowing what their bodies may or may not do in the future. Today’s DNA tests also help people learn how to make better choices for their body. If you want to know more about your body or find a biological sibling, though, take care to use only the best DNA testing companies in the industry.