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Since the Human Genome Project completed the blueprint for the building blocks of all life on earth, entrepreneurs have found a multitude of creative uses for DNA tests.
Carrier screenings for hereditary conditions like Tay Sachs and sickle cell disease save future parents from heartbreak and grief. Genetic research has discovered methods for women over the age of 35 to have happy, healthy babies through tests like chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
Picking the Right Test
A quick word of caution. Genetic science has a myriad of uses that can help almost any field or industry related to human life. However, as the study of DNA develops so do the less-than-reputable manufacturers making substandard tests and being evaluated by inexperienced researchers who interpret the results. There is a market for these tests for people who are simply curious about their ancestral background and don’t want to pay a lot of money for their test.
There are commercial and medical DNA tests. High-quality commercial tests are often a way of deciding whether or not to invest in gene therapy tests and involve their medical insurance to treat an illness or condition.
DNA Weekly is an objective review website of commercial DNA tests and the laboratories that evaluate this market. There are other resources to help guide you through the process whether you are testing for lifestyle purposes or performing a deep dive into your ancestral past.
Fertility and Carrier Screenings
For most of human history (even today) being pregnant is to be in a delicate and dangerous situation. Many women die in childbirth. It isn’t an easy task but modern medicine has made it a lot safer for women to have healthy, happy babies.
Humans have two copies of every gene. Carriers of the hereditary disease may never present symptoms of the genetic condition. However, if two carriers pass their faulty gene onto their child it can impact the child in devastating ways.
Genetic science has made it possible for older women to safely have babies too. As medical science evolves it will make having kids a whole heck of a lot safer.
There are at least 1000 BRCA gene mutations and a negative BRAC1/BRAC2 is not insurance that the individual will not get cancer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed the Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk (GHR) to inform the commercial results of only three of these faulty genes.
Medical genetic testing is advised for people with symptoms, but doing self-examinations, getting regular mammograms, and exploring the possibility with a commercial DNA test are preventative measures that could save your life.
Commercial DNA tests are typically done through the mail. There will be a swab kit that you run along the inside of your cheek and a container to preserve the contents.
The tests are sent to a laboratory where researchers examine and compare how your unique genome might impact your health and well-being. When the results are complete they will send you a packet that interprets what the results mean and the next steps you should take.
A quality DNA test can be an excellent litmus test of how your lifestyle is impacting your overall well-being and health.
DNA tests are not crystal balls but they can tell you if your eating, exercise, and work habits are leading you down a path toward illness.
Choose a test that is best suited for the data you are looking for. DNA Weekly is a reviewer who can help you find the right test.