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Everything you need to know about DNA testing kits

Everything you need to know about DNA testing kits

The DNA testing industry has been growing significantly. Of course, we all want to search for where came from, and this has led to millions of people getting their DNA tests every year. But did you ever wonder, can these DNA tests actually reveal the correct information about ancestry that we want to know? Read on to learn some important things about personal testing kits:

 

1. DNA Testing Requires A Mere Spit

Getting a DNA test is probably the simplest medical test that has ever been invented. All you need to do is gather some of your salivae, put it in a small container, and send it to your nearby lab with all your information mentioned on it. In a month or two, you will be able to see the results.

 

2. The Kits Require Genetic Variations

Once you’ve sent your DNA by taking out some of your saliva or cheek swabs, the DNA testing lab will find your DNA for some genetic variations. In scientific terms, DNA is based on building blocks that are basically chemicals known as nucleotides. These nucleotides have 4 types – A, T, C, and G. We humans have 3 billion pairs of these nucleotides, which makes exactly 6 billion letters in total that are in a sequence. All the genetic information is also known as Genome.
DNA testing labs start by finding which of these four bases mentioned above are found in your genome. These companies put their focus on specific letters that are different in every person, which are called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). These SNPs are relevant biologically. To put this into perspective, you may have one variant of a particular SNP around some gene that is meant for a protein that is responsible for making dark colors. DNA tester can therefore deduce that this causes you to have blue or some dark-colored eyes.

 

3. Kits Show Different Accuracy Levels Depending On The Testing Methods

Not all the tests come on the expected standards. You may have heard absurd stories. For instance, recently, a test failed to acknowledge that an alleged human DNA sample was coming from a dog named Bailey. However, the test also deduced that because of genetics, the dog should do a lot of physical exercises. This is because the DNA extraction kit used was meant to tell people about their physical strength, mental strength, and speed. The kit is tested for three or four genetic variants, but there are more expensive kits that have thousands of variants.

Another important thing to note is that you should never go for companies that give you predictions about what type of diet will suit you best, what sports are good for you, and similar tips. This is because experts say that using DNA tests to estimate or interpret such information isn’t accurate because the recommendations they offer depend mostly on very small scale studies conducted on only a few groups of people. An important point to note is that results gleaned from one small population cannot be used generally for all the other populations.

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