Saturday, May 4, 2019

Genetic DNA Testing: All you Need to Know before Taking One

In recent years, DNA testing has become more affordable and hugely popular. Numerous companies now offer home testing, and it takes just a few minutes for you to complete the test and post the kit back. The test results come through very quickly, and they give you a great insight into your ancestry, your biology, and more.

DNA Testing
However, as DNA testing becomes more popular, more and more companies have begun offering the service. This means that when you start looking into it, you may find yourself overwhelmed with information and not know which company provides the best DNA testing in 2019. That is why comparison websites, such as Hot5.com, are helpful when choosing a service. They carry out extensive research using in-house experts to find the best possible DNA testing for you.
You will see that each DNA testing company offers something slightly different. However, most companies offer some basic services, and it is important to understand them.

What is DNA
DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid) is found in all living organism. It contains information on how we grow, develop, reproduce, and function. Your genetic makeup in encoded in DNA so it will determine factors such as your hair colour. Half of a person’s DNA comes from their mother, and a half from their father and no two people have the same DNA (except for identical twins). However, 99.9% of all human DNA is identical; it is just 0.1% that makes you unique.
What the DNA Tests Tell You
The most basic and popular service is called Autosomal Testing, which is more commonly known as the family finder. This test looks at 22 pairs of chromosomes not involved in determining a person’s sex. The test is used to look for relatives, such as cousins or more distant relatives, and it can also give you information about your ethnic background, and common genetic traits such as inheritable diseases and eye colour.

Many services also offer mtDNA testing (mitochondrial DNA). This traces your mother’s lineage and are the DNA strands that are passed down from mother to child. The test allows you to trace your direct maternal line, and as these particular DNA strands are unlikely to change, it can be traced quite far back.

You will also find Y-DNA testing, which focuses on the Y chromosome. This is commonly known as the ‘male’ chromosome, and unsurprisingly the test traces your father’s lineage. However, only males are able to use a Y-DNA test directly, so if you are a woman, this is not a service you need to look for.

Choosing the Right DNA Test
When choosing a DNA test, you first need to consider what you hope to achieve. If you are looking for a general family history then the autosomal test is a perfect choice, it covers both sides and looks at your genetics as a whole. If you want to learn something more specific, then you will be interested in the mtDNA or Y-DNA tests. Many online services offer all three tests, but you don’t necessarily have to pay for them all. Be sure to look carefully at what each service is offering, and you are sure to find one that suits your needs.