Best DNA Test Kits
As Of June 2022
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Europe Or Asia? Irish Or Native American? Every Piece Makes You Unique!
Humans have the tendency to look for their past. Their history seems really important because that’s how you understand yourself better. And even though your roots don’t play that big of a part in the person you’ve become, they still say a lot about you. Where do you come from? Neanderthal seems like a common starting point for everyone. But what comes next?
Filling the gaps in your family tree is something that can’t be done just by asking your parents or grandparents about your history. That’s where DNA test kits make their appearance. Take a step forward into self-discovery and see what your DNA helix has to say about you. With the improvement of science, everyone can do it while being at home.
Ancestry is only the beginning! The tip of the iceberg of the DNA test world. Genealogists combined their knowledge with other parts of the medical world and they’re here to present you with the real deal. Learn about your overall wellness and health status. Take care of yourself better and more efficiently.
The common questions are: Is it safe? Is the whole process worth it? And the answer is yes! But if you want to learn more about them, then you’re in the right place. This guide will help you understand how they work and what are the benefits of giving them a try. Have a look!
How Do They Work?
They actually work in a similar way. You order the DNA test kit, you collect your sample (which is saliva most of the time) with a cotton swab, you register on their platform, you send the kit back with your sample and then you wait for the results. Simple as that! So the whole process is pretty clear and there’s no need for you to have any kind of knowledge when it comes to genetics.
Once the company gets the kit, it starts analyzing your genetic makeup. They put your sample into certain devices that make sequencing an easy process and they come with a “map” of what’s on your DNA and haplogroups. After that, they combine this information with a big database to pinpoint common genetic traits or some kind of predisposition that you might have. Finally, they send you back the charts with your results so you can track the information and learn everything you need to know.
What Are The Types Of DNA Tests?
Let’s start from the beginning! There are three different types of DNA tests that are very common among these companies. These are the autosomal DNA test, the mtDNA test and the Y-DNA test. So, what are they exactly?
Autosomal DNA Test
The most popular of all. It’s also called an atDNA test. So many unknown words, right? Well, autosomes are actually chromosomes that you have inherited from your parents. This test examines single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs - called “snips”) to determine how closely related you are to someone else. That’s why this type of test is ideal for finding your roots and lineage from many generations ago. One of its biggest advantages is that it’s very accurate.
It stands for mitochondrial DNA and the most interesting part about it is that you take it exclusively from your mother. Crazy, right? Mitochondria are found in the “egg part” when a baby is conceived, that’s why your mother played all the parts in this aspect. So, when you test your mtDNA you can find all your genetic information that has to do with your maternal line.
It takes its name from the Y chromosome which is something that fathers pass down to their sons. So ladies this test won’t show any results for you! If you’re a man though that wants to find his paternal line, then this is the way to do it.
What Kind Of Information Can You Get?
To put it simply, you get a clear and detailed look at your family’s history. There are many companies out there that can find your ancestors and their moves throughout history. Some might offer you the chance to see their migration history as well, which is really cool if you think about it. Find where you started from and where you ended up!
They also have access to billions of records like birth certificates, marriage certificates, photographs, obituaries and passports. That way they can track down your family tree better and actually give you the opportunity to meet some relative you might have and you didn’t even know about. And they will help you with the process! You’ll get notified whenever they discover a potential relative and bring you two together if that’s what you want. People that are adopted might need it more than they know.
Apart from finding where you come from and what your lineage looks like, you can learn important things about your health. There are some people with a higher risk of medical conditions like obesity, Alzheimer’s, baldness, heart diseases, etc. Wouldn’t you like to know in advance so you can tackle them before they become an issue? And parents can try this as well to their kids and protect them as much as they can. Even if you’re not a parent and you’re thinking about becoming one, taking the test with your significant other beforehand can give you important information about the combination of your genome.
Finally, there is a certain aspect that’s called pharmacogenomics. What’s that? Let’s say that every single person has a different behaviour when taking some type of medicine. To put it more simply, if you and your friend have the exact same problem, and you decide to take a specific medication, then the best dosage for you two might differ. Scientists only recently found out that this is a thing. And the dosage that most people take is the silver lining. But, there are cases where even for a simple headache, a person needs half that dosage or even double. By finding out what behaviour you have with medication, you can let your doctor know and then being consulted about the right dosage.
There are many companies out there that offer you this type of service. But there are some factors that you need to consider before making a purchase. Even though they look like they do the same thing, some of them take it one step further. Here’s what you need to check:
What The DNA Test Examines
The most popular DNA tests are autosomal and their main purpose is to give you information about your relatives, your ethnicities and complete your family tree. Some of them actually analyze your mtDNA and Y-DNA as well so you can find everything about both your maternal and paternal line.
If you’re interested in finding your long-lost relatives then you have to look for that feature. Not all DNA tests offer you this opportunity. Now, if you’re someone that’s not into that then you can go for a less expensive kit.
The size of the database that each company has, plays a big role in the results that you’re going to get. The larger the DNA database, the more accurate the results. Aim for a company that can cover your needs.
If you’re someone that likes straightforward things and don’t want to waste your time doing unnecessary tasks, then you need a kit that can offer you just that. Having everything scattered all around won’t work. So the packaging and the return of the DNA kit have to be clear and easy for everyone.
As you can imagine having a detailed outcome is very crucial. And the results need to have clarity when presented to you. That’s why the whole presentation is an aspect that you need to think about, both in terms of data and visuals. This is the only way that you’re going to fill in the gaps without confusing yourself even more.
Sending your kit back and waiting for many days can’t be fun. You need to know though that DNA sequencing is a process that needs time so you have to wait a little bit. Some companies can send you back the results pretty quickly and some others take longer. It depends on what you’re asking to know. Start with the information that you want to get and then find the best option when it comes to fast delivery.
Giving access to your DNA information is a sensitive thing. That’s why companies offer you the privacy that you need to rest assured that this raw data is in safe hands. Do these companies take ownership of your DNA and do they have the right to use it? Always make sure that the one you go for protects you from these things and double-check what you give permission to.
Are They Accurate?
Some of you might say “how can I be sure about the results?” which is pretty logical. Especially if you don’t really know how things work. And don’t take this the wrong way! Most people don’t because they haven’t had someone explaining it to them. Lucky for you, you’ll get all the answers here!
Even though the science that stands behind genetic tests is kind of new, the whole thing evolves amazingly fast. The amount of information that is still unknown to scientists, make it very appealing to everyone. The companies that provide these DNA test kits to you, give you more than 90% accuracy when it comes to genetic variances. And this accuracy depends on several factors. Have a look!
- The quality of the DNA sample
- The type of test that is performed
- The regions that a company search through for matches
- The company’s database as a reference population
That’s why it’s hard to say which DNA test is the most accurate among all the available options. You play a certain part in the results as well. Plus, DNA companies have different databases and that comes with some strengths and weaknesses. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for it as the outcome will be super close to reality.
If you think that you’re 100% from the UK then you should think again! Why? Because you get half your DNA from your mother and the other half from your father. And they both took theirs from their parents and so on. And in the end, you don’t know where all these beautiful combinations come from.
Make sure that you follow the steps that every DNA test kit provides and leave the rest to the experts. You’re going to find some very interesting facts! And don’t forget that all the differences people have when it comes to the way they look are a mix of all the wonderful things that people have in common.
To Sum Up
Finding your roots and family history is a big thing. It gives you a clearer image of what makes you so unique. What makes everyone around you so unique in their own way. People all around the world have so many things in common and yet everyone has something so special. With the best DNA test kits, you can learn all about those things. Plus, finding out about your health status is a great way to protect yourself and have a long-lasting and healthy life. Who would have thought that all we are is written on our DNA helix? So, don’t waste any more time! This guide has everything you need to know and our top 10 picks are here to take you on that beautiful journey. Go take a look!