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Home DNA Testing: Things To Consider Before Taking One

Australia’s obsession with genetic testing and finding out the genealogy isn’t something that’s going to go away anytime soon. Many DNA testing labs have sprung up in the country, and even kits for home DNA tests are now publicly available for every Australian. DNA testing can be used for a plethora of uses, some more serious than others. Many Australians use them to peek into what ancestral trails held before them. Others use it to predict the incidence of more serious illnesses and health issues running in their families. Some might even do it out of curiosity and see what keys their genetic potential can unlock or close off.

Concerns arose when many scientific media outlets claimed that most of these tests were ineffective, gave false positives, or provided less than accurate results. When such bold statements circulated throughout the Australian media, one might wonder whether letting another agency get a hold of something as precious as a DNA sample is a safe bet at all.

Things To Consider When Going For A Home DNA Testing:

After conducting a  lot of surveys statistics tabulated to find out how many Australians were looking forward to digging out their ancestral roots. In some cases like immigration, family courts for confirming parentage, and other likely issues, DNA testing might be required to prove family relationships and lineage. Whatever the case may be, there are certain things to know firsthand before Australians attempt to do home DNA tests on their own:

  1. Don’t Expect To Unravel The Whole Ancestral History: Like most at-home DNA testing kits, many are still a work in progress. And while they do give an almost accurate result on the general DNA history, don’t expect a complete analysis of what every strand holds. It takes a whole lot of computational power and money to do that. Home DNA kits can identify any variations in the genome or point out places likely to have variations or anomalies. For accurate testing, the price will always be way more than a hundred bucks and around ten grand or more. Hopefully, the costs will drop in the years to come due to advanced computational systems and better analysing tools.
  2. What About The Results? Many Australians take up these tests to get an idea about their ancestral heritage. And those results are pretty accurate, especially when considering regional or even continental levels. However, ethnicity findings can be a bit tough, and then again, and it’ll depend upon the company that issues the kits. No test can safely or accurately determine the percentage of how much Irish or Scandinavian an Australian is.
  3. Using The Information of The Results: Whatever results obtained from a DNA testing kit must be forwarded to a health expert or a genealogy professional to assess any history or possibility of illness. It’s always beneficial to learn about the case of many diseases and health risks that can be transferred to potential offsprings so that people can make more informed decisions about their medical procedures or operations down the road. So be prepared for any surprises that the results may show.
  4. Learning About The Company: Always ask how the company plans to use the information they get through the tests. Learn about whether they are capable of securing the results and sensitive information. The Australian government has implemented many laws and regulations to protect against DNA discrimination and misuse of sensitive information.
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