One fun fact about DNA is that everybody’s genetic makeup is about 99.9% similar. And it is only the 0.1% that actually differentiates and makes us unique in our own way. Our DNA is what makes us who we are, and this small percentage is what constitutes our different traits like eyes and hair color, our skins, height, and even diseases. Doing DNA testing for ethnicity is what can help us tell the difference in these traits even where there is a dispute over paternity or ancestry. These are usually the two main reasons why most people take DNA tests.
However, there is a lot more to taking a DNA test that you may not yet know about. And these are what this article aims to address today. By helping answer some of the questions, you may have about DNA testing.
1. Is a DNA test right for me?
This depends on why you want to take the DNA test in the first place. However, it is good to take the DNA test so you can be better informed about your body and how it functions. In most cases, an expert recommends that you seek professional genetic guidance and counseling before going for a DNA test. The main reason for this is because many people take the tests for specific life-altering situations. So, it is best to have a professional prep you for whichever results you may find from the test.
2. What types of samples are needed for the test?
In most instances, it is the cheek or buccal swaps that are needed. The buccal swabbing procedure is quick and painless and involves the rubbing of a cotton-like swab on the insides of a patient’s cheeks. There are also other ways of collecting samples for DNA testing. Blood samples, for examples, are required for determining prenatal paternal tests. Tissue samples are also possible in cases of a diseased body.
3. What is the DNA test for?
DNA tests can be for many reasons. These tests can help determine different diseases like:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Hereditary thrombophilia
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
These are but a few of the diseases that DNA testing can help you detect. The testing is also used to determine prenatal parental cases and other health-health related issues.
4. How long do I have to wait for a DNA paternity test?
A paternity test usually takes between 1 and 2 business days for the tests to be completed and the results posted. However, the process can even go faster, and you get same-day results. This, however, is usually at an additional fee.
5. Can a DNA test predict my future?
Unfortunately, no. These tests cannot diagnose you with a certain disease. They only help inform you of your genetic risks, not the overall risks. It is crucial to note that DNA tests are not always the sole determinants of a disease. You also need to consider other factors and variations like family history, gene variations, environmental factors, and life choices before you make a conclusive determination.
6. Who can access my DNA results?
There is a law called HIPPA that protects all patient’s medical information from being shared by doctors, hospitals, or even insurance companies. So, rest assured that your information is safe and will only be available to the medical personnel handling your case and you.