Dna Testing Genetic Facts

Due to recent scientific developments, DNA testing is now available to the general public. Technology that was once only used in health care and law enforcement settings is now commonly used for a variety of personal reasons. Interested in your family tree? DNA testing for genealogy is available. Looking for love? DNA testing results are used on dating sites.

The difficulty with DNA testing lies in distinguishing DNA testing facts from hype, myths and misinformation. DNA testing results can yield fascinating information, but genetic testing does have it limits.

Health and DNA Testing Facts

DNA testing can reveal your risk for a number of hereditary diseases, allowing you to initiate lifestyle changes that can lower your risk of illness.

In much the same way, DNA testing results that don?t reveal genetic markers for a disease don?t guarantee you immunity to the condition. Other factors (diet, lifestyle, stress level and exercise, for example) also influence whether or not people develop health problems.

DNA and Dating

DNA genetic testing is offered by some online dating services. The intent is to match people with compatible DNA. While it?s true that DNA matching could help reduce the risk of hereditary disease in a couple?s offspring, the effect of DNA compatibility on relationships is debatable.

DNA Ancestry Testing

DNA genealogy testing grew out of DNA paternity tests, and has proven helpful for many people tracing their family tree. Different genetic genealogy tests can provide you with interesting information about both your matrilineal and patrilineal ancestry.

It?s important, however, to remember that DNA testing for genealogy has its limits. Some people have very unreasonable expectations of DNA genealogy testing, assuming that that DNA ancestry testing will provide them with information best found in birth records. While DNA genealogy testing helps people construct their family tree, it doesn?t replace the hard research required of genealogists.

African American DNA Testing

DNA testing is very popular in the African American community. Slavery severed the connection many African Americans have with their past, and DNA testing is seen as a way to reconnect broken ties.

As with other forms of genealogy testing, there are limits to African American DNA testing. DNA results can provide information on regions of Africa where people have similar genetic profiles. However, just because that particular group shares genetic features with you does not mean that they are your ancestors. Many groups share similar DNA profiles. Human migration and other social factors can also complicate results.

DNA Genetic Testing Results

When it comes to DNA genealogy testing, dating compatibility and DNA ancestry testing, test results have to be viewed objectively and realistically. Many people expect DNA testing results to confirm deeply held beliefs or provide exciting insights into their life.

In truth, DNA testing results, especially so-called ?vanity? or personal DNA testing, often don?t provide earth-shattering revelations, and people sometimes feel let down or cheated by the results. This is a shame, as the information revealed by DNA genetic testing is often fascinating: It?s just not what the individual necessarily wanted.

As DNA testing becomes more mainstream, an inevitable amount of hype is going to accompany hot-topic fields such as DNA genealogy testing. Some people will naturally be disappointed. It?s important to remember that it?s what DNA testing can provide that?s important, not what the tests cannot reveal.


23 and Me. (n.d.). Overview. Retrieved September 9, 2008, from the 23 and Me Web site: www.23andme.com/overview/

Smolenyak, M. (n.d.). Genealogy by DNA: Can it deliver? Retrieved September 9, 2008, from the Genpage Web site: www.genpage.com/genealogyDNA.html

Than, K. (2007). Genetic ancestry tests mostly hype, scientists say Retrieved September 9, 2008, from the Live Science Web site: www.livescience.com/health/071018-vanity-tests.html

Willing, R. (2006). DNA rewrites history for African-Americans. Retrieved September 9, 2008, from the USA Today Web site: www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-02-01-dna-tests_x.htm.