DNA Testing has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, with more and more people curious about their genetic makeup and ancestry. Advances in technology have made DNA testing more accessible, affordable, and accurate than ever before. But what can you expect from such tests? This article will explore the same.
The most common referral source for genetic/ genomic testing/ dna testing in australia in 2016/17 was General Practitioners (27.7% of test requests). Obstetricians/ Fertility/ Fetal Medicine Specialists (21.1%) and Pathologists (15.4%), particularly Haematologists (8.9%), were the next most frequent referring groups. These were followed by Clinical Geneticists and Oncologists, who accounted for 6.6% and 5.4% of all test requests, respectively.
What is this test?
It is a way to analyse an individual’s genetic makeup. It involves collecting a sample of DNA, typically from a saliva sample or cheek swab, and exploring the DNA to identify specific genetic markers. These markers can provide information about an individual’s ancestry, potential health risks, and other genetic traits.
There are several types, each with its specific purpose. The most common types include:
- Ancestry: This type of testing looks at an individual’s genetic markers to determine their ancestry and ethnic background. It can provide information about where their ancestors came from and any genetic predispositions or traits associated with specific populations.
- Health: It analyses an individual’s genetic makeup to identify potential health risks, such as genetic mutations associated with cancer or heart disease. This type of testing can also be essentially used to determine an individual’s response to certain medications.
- Paternity: it compares the DNA of a child to that of their alleged father to determine paternity. It can also establish other familial relationships, such as siblingship.
Of the 72 accredited laboratories for dna testing in australia, 59 were accredited for genetic/ genomic testing, of which 32 (54.2%) had an accreditation scope that included massively parallel sequencing (MPS).
Among the 32 laboratories accredited for MPS, 22 (69%) had achieved NPAAC’s upgraded 2017 requirements. A further six laboratories indicated they were progressively addressing NPAAC’S revised requirements for MPS validation, staff training and supervision.
What can it tell you?
Ancestry testing can provide information about your ethnic background, ancestors’ origin, and any genetic traits or predispositions associated with specific populations. For example, a DNA test may reveal a higher risk of developing certain diseases if you have ancestors from some areas of the world. The information you can learn depends on the type of test you choose.
Health testing can provide information about your risk for certain genetic diseases and your response to certain medications. For example, a DNA test may reveal a higher risk of breast cancer possibilities due to a specific genetic mutation or that you are more likely to experience side effects from a particular medication.
Paternity testing can establish paternity or other familial relationships with high accuracy. This can be especially important in legal cases like child custody or child support.
In conclusion, this type of test can essentially provide you with valuable information about an individual’s genetic makeup, ancestry, health risks, and other genetic traits. However, it’s always essential to understand every applicable aspect of the testing before deciding to undergo it.