A DNA test is a medical method for checking the paternity or maternity of a child in the medical community. A DNA test also allows you to determine bloodlines and genetic diagnosis of different inherited diseases you are vulnerable to. We get half of our DNA from our biological mother and the other half from our biological father.
DNA Test is 99.9% Accurate
In a method called polymerase chain reaction, a Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) which is a part of DNA is tested. PCR Is a method that amplifies and sequence DNA. It is used to diagnose infectious and hereditary diseases.
Carrying out the DNA test is very easy and simple. It is done by a DNA specialist, who is a doctor. The doctor will swab your mouth to collect a sample of epithelial tissue. Skin cells can also be used. From this sample, a specialist can determine your DNA with specialized and advanced technology.
The procedure does not take much time. The sample is collected in less than ten minutes and is painless. Just swiping a Q-tip into your cheek. That’s all it takes to collect the sample. Nowadays, there are DNA kits that you can buy and perform all by yourself. You do not have to visit the doctor again with these kits.
With modern technology, DNA testing is 99.9% accurate. Whether you like to visit a DNA specialist or you just order a personal test kit, you can rest assured that the results will be accurate.
Basics of DNA Testing and What Each Reveals
There are 3 main types of DNA tests presently. Each one serves different purposes.
1. Autosomal (atDNA)
2. Mitochondrial (mtDNA)
3. Y-chromosomal (Y-DNA)
1. Autosomal (atDNA)
An atDNA test will analyze 22 out of the 23 pairs of chromosomes you have. These are all inherited in equal proportion from each parent. This implies means it can be used by both male and female. Hence, an autosomal DNA test is the best for finding a range of relatives. However, its results get less reliable the further back you go. This is because of autosomal DNA changes with every generation.
2. Mitochondrial (mtDNA)
An mtDNA test analyzes using the mitochondrion which is a component of the human cell. Mitochondrial DNA is passed to a child from the biological mother. This makes it easy to trace a direct maternal ancestor. This test gives the precise results about ancestors and even distant cousins from your mother’s side.
Y-DNA tests analyses using Y chromosome only. It reveals genetic information found in males alone. Thus, can only be taken by males. It gives paternal information alone. It is good for tracing the previous generation just like the mtDNA test
A DNA paternity test is a test done to check if a man is the biological father of a child. Over the years, genetic testing of paternity has meticulously advanced. Before now, paternity was determined using the blood group and type. However, blood groups are not exclusive to genetic relationships. With an improvement in the science world, there is more understanding of DNA. It is a simpler and more accurate method of ascertaining paternity.
What You Should Know About DNA Test
1. The Information DNA Test Can Give
A DNA test can give you many pieces of information about yourself. It does this by checking your DNA and determine the functions it express in your genetic code. This is the reason why some DNA tests are able to include health and lifestyle information. There are different things a DNA test can do.
With your permission, DNA companies are able to store DNA data from millions of customers. They are able to match your DNA against the DNA patterns of other users. Some DNA companies will tell you who you share unique sequences with. They will prove to you that you have ancestors somewhere.
They help you understand your family tree with the migration patterns of your ancestors. They can go to the extent of telling you the relatives you never knew you had.
2. Be Aware of the Cons of DNA testing.
This other side of it is the privacy implications. If DNA companies share that code, be it with law enforcement or other companies, it can be a bit unsettling. If you don’t allow sharing but your family member authorizes sharing their DNA, they have allowed a considerable amount of your DNA to be shared.
Also, if the DNA tests bring results the DNA specialist didn’t expect, there may be many issues involved. This includes misattributed paternity, issues of race with disturbing discoveries about your family.
So, therefore, expect these unexpected consequences when going for your DNA test.
3. Understand the Structure of DNA
DNA is essentially code. The order and combination of these codes provide help in instructing the creation of organic material. DNA segment converts amino acids into proteins. It is these proteins that do all sorts of things, like the creation of new cells. Then these proteins from cells, then tissues, organs, and you as a whole.
Chromosomes are the long strands of DNA. These chromosomes are passed down from both father and mother to their child. The child’s DNA code represents the characteristics of both parents.
4. Know the Limitations of DNA Matching
The child’s chromosomes also contain something of a genetic fingerprint of the parents. This is the reason two siblings, born of the same parent share a considerable amount of chromosomal data. Cousins also share chromosomal data, but not as much. The fingerprint gets diluted as you move back to grandparents and great grandparents.
5. Understand Types of DNA Test
There are three different test types: Autosomal, Y-DNA, and mtDNA which has been explained earlier. It will help you determine the ones you want to go for.
As the DNA test is 99.9% accurate and reliable, you can visit a DNA specialist to check for who you share your genetic code with. With the DNA kits available in the market, you can accurately check it yourself. However, note that this DNA kit cannot be used for medical purpose.
Guest article by Dr. Charles-Davies, a medical doctor that likes to share health information to help the public understand their bodies better. He also sometimes consults at Brookside Medical Practice, Ikoyi.