Once a complicated and costly issue even for the most technologically advanced laboratories, genetic testing has now been widely embraced. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), genetic testing is currently offered and able to identify more than 2000 common and rare conditions with more than 500 labs able to perform the testing.
Not only can DNA testing assist in answering health questions, it can be used for so much more. Below is a breakdown of 4 things a DNA test will tell you.
1. Determining paternity
There are many instances where a child may not know who his/her biological father is and wants access to this information. For example, an adopted child wanting to know their biological father or a situation where a mother has separated from the father before the child is born.
DNA paternity testing is a major step in enabling grownup children to find their biological fathers. Positive results often offer a probability of real paternity of around 99.99%. Therefore, such results leave no room for doubt. Once the DNA of a child is tested openly with the DNA of the father, the result is generally the reality.
2. Determining racial origin/ethnicity
You may have resided in one area or country for your whole life but this does not mean that that place is where your family originated from. DNA testing can help you discover your true ethnicity or racial origin. These tests provide you with a better understanding of your ethnic background by simply tracking migration routes of your ancestors, up to the most recent times.
The genealogy service you use normally researches individuals with comparable results across numerous generations. Afterwards, you are presented with results that show the populations and regions with individuals who have a similar genetic makeup depending on your unique profile. This also includes the number of people and the computed percentages from each region. If, for instance, the results establish that you have African roots, it will give you an estimated percentage of certain countries and areas.
3. Discovering new relations
A DNA test can also provide you with many new relatives that you never knew or imagined even existed. There are certain websites that allow people to compare their DNA to many others that they already have in their database. This allows users to link themselves to unknown members of their extended family.
DNA tests can also help you determine your genetic ethnicity. Most companies determine this by searching others with the same results. This provides you with a great opportunity to connect with those people and create a relationship with them if you decide to allow the company to release your information given on your behalf. They can help link you up with thousands of new relatives who you did not know before and consequently allow you to keep growing and discovering your lineage.
4. Determining health risks
It is not uncommon for individuals to get tested if they either know or suspect that they are prone to certain genetic disorders. Such genetic diseases might have affected many of their family members or they might exhibit signs and symptoms of a condition widely considered to be genetic, such as sickle cell anemia.
For those individuals, DNA tests can offer an effective way to determine whether someone carries a certain gene and therefore making them prone to a serious medical condition. Physicians are then given the opportunity to determine the right course of treatment. Discovering new medical issues can also help people take the necessary preventive measures. Babies can also be tested for genetic medical issues either when they are still in the womb or soon after birth.