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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Can DNA Genetic Testing Tell You?

Human DNA by Виталий Смолыгин
Human DNA by Виталий Смолыгин
Medical technology has come a long way over the past century. Things that were once the stuff of science fiction can now be done in a hospital, clinic, or even at home. Examining DNA is one type of testing technology that is relatively new when you think about it. Even back in the 1980s, it was not considered quite as reliable as it is today. There is a lot of different information that can be gleaned from DNA genetic testing, including finding out where your ancestors came from, your relationship to other members of your family, and even your predisposition toward certain conditions or diseases.

Where You Come From

Your DNA not only says a lot about you, but it can tell a little story about your ancestors. By looking at your DNA carefully, you can find out more about where your ancestors came from. Basically, your DNA is compared to certain global populations. Based on this comparison, you can find out how likely it is that your DNA links you to these regions and populations around the world. If you want to get an idea of where your ancestors may have come from, this could be a very informative and interesting way to do it.


You have likely heard of paternity testing being done in many different situations. It can even be done in the first and second trimesters of a pregnancy, if desired. Paternity testing is not the only type of relationship testing that can be done with DNA, however. You can also do maternity testing and even DNA testing for siblings. Paternity and maternity testing can be done when fidelity is questioned, in cases involving adoptions, or even where egg or sperm donation is involved. Sibling testing can be done to see if siblings really are siblings, or even twin zygosity examined to truly determine whether a set of twins are fraternal or identical. Tests can even be done in instances where grandparents, aunts, and uncles want some DNA link answers.


If you were going to develop a kind of muscular dystrophy at a certain age, would you want to know long before you started to show symptoms? Some types of DNA testing can look for certain markers that could indicate you might develop certain conditions in the future. In some cases, this can help you prepare and get the care you need for that condition or disease. In other cases, it may just be a game of wait and see. If you or a family member already show symptoms of certain conditions, then validating the condition with a genetic test can make sense. Other people might choose to wait if they are not showing any symptoms of a condition just yet.

How the DNA is Collected

According to, DNA genetic testing can be done several different ways. In some cases, a doctor or medical professional may need to collect the sample for you. You should be able to go to a hospital or clinic where the sample can easily be collected, sometimes just with a cotton swab-type stick. In other cases, blood may need to be drawn or hair collected. Some sample collections can be done on your own at home by simply swabbing the inside of your cheek and putting the sample in a sealed plastic envelope. In the cases of prenatal paternity testing, an OB/GYN should be the one to perform the amniocentesis. When considering using a home test, make sure that you get the kit from a reliable source that can provide you with good instructions and accurate results.

DNA genetic testing is one piece of proof that medical technology has advanced leaps and bounds over the past century. There are so many things that you can learn from a little DNA test, including where your ancestors may have come from, your relationship with your parents, grandparents, and siblings, and even your predisposition toward conditions and diseases. Not only can you gather all of this information, but you may be able to do the tissue collection right from your own home. If you have certain questions regarding your biological makeup, it is possible that a little genetic testing can get you some answers. Remember when looking for a genetic testing company to research their reliability, the types of tests that they offer, and even reviews from customers. Getting the information you seek can be as simple as collecting the sample, mailing it in, and waiting for your results.

I did the test myself recently and discovered I'm 15% Irish. So, for St. Patrick's Day this year... perhaps I'll do a little celebrating. I'll definitely wear a little more green than usual. Who knew...

*Read my Disclosure


  1. My dad had Alzheimer's and I think that I might see if my lack of memory lately is normal or due to the dreaded "A" .