It’s common knowledge that DNA testing can tell you about your ancestry, but do you know what else it can tell you? Your DNA results may benefit yourself and others more than you know!
Most DNA kits just take a little of your saliva. You can even just swab the inside of your cheek and send it away in a sealed container. Then six to eight weeks later, you’ll get the results. There are many companies that offer affordable forms of DNA testing, include 23andMe, Ancestry, Family Tree, and My Heritage. Most kits range from about $70 to $200.
The accuracy of your DNA results may vary. Most companies use simple methods that provide simple results. For more complicated results, you may want to try a more specialized test. Certain tests may even be able to tell you what sports you may excel at. Your results may also change slightly as more data because available.
DNA testing can tell you which populations from different geographical locations are represented in your DNA, usually represented through percentages. DNA test cannot guarantee where your ancestry is from, because they cannot directly compare your DNA to DNA from people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. But as data becomes available and more research is done on a wider range of people, analyses are able to provide more detailed information.
Many companies that provide DNA testing will allow you to see other users of the same service that share DNA—meaning that you can find living relatives that you don’t yet know! The Huffington Post has revealed that even siblings have found each other through DNA testing. The only catch is that they will have needed to use the same service to get their DNA tested—but if you used a popular service, your odds of finding a new family goes up.
Health issues can only be a result of your genetics. Having your DNA tests could tell you which potential issues may be in your future and help you to avoid them. Genetic markers can predict things like Alzheimer’s, certain types of cancer, heart disease, fertility issues, alcoholism, and more.
DNA can also tell you which psychiatric medications will work best for you—because of this, there are certain DNA kits that are by prescription only. Prescriptions can also be made for those who are struggling with fertility to help them make reproduction decisions.
As more DNA is gathered more data becomes available. Personal DNA testing companies have gained access to the genetic data of millions of people—this provides a large pool of data and the opportunity to make many connections. The research can lead to information on genetic variations and potentially even medical research.