Online DNA tests; are they accurate and do they work?

Online DNA tests; are they accurate and do they work?

Ten years ago, it would have cost thousands of dollars to have your DNA mapped.  This information could help you potentially find out if you are likely to get genetic illnesses and more.

23 and me a well-known company that performs a basic online DNA test for under $100 dollars and for under $200 they will tell you if you are prone to getting a particular disease.  Another company, will also do this but they offer a service that makes it easy to set up a family tree and will offer clues as to where you may have come from.  Both companies will also connect you to people who may be children, genetic cousins, etc.

There are some concerns regarding how this data is used but it is kept private if you wish.  They will only share it if you want it shared and both services are separate databases so for the most connections to others who you are genetically related to, testing with both companies is helpful.

My personal Journey.

I have had my own journey using these services which make it easy to connect with others on the services that share your DNA.

Testing is as easy as spitting into a tube and then logging on to a website to register your kit.  You then put the kit in the mail and in a few weeks you are introduced to a new world of family, and others who you may have met years ago and those who also did this had a similar curiosity.

After speaking with some of my genetic cousins, we began to help each other piece together the past while developing new relationships. Two of them I met when I was younger and they both sent me photos of my parents from years ago and they remember visiting us in our home.

One caveat is that the two companies, their databases, and their connections to you are separate, meaning the two companies’ data do not talk to each other.  This means that if you did one, you may wish to do the other as people you may be related to genetically may be different on the two services.

The tests from the two companies use a similar process, and the cost is similar.

Recently, I found an article that researched the DNA tests and questions whether they are accurate.   Check out the article below.

How Accurate Are Online DNA Tests?

Geneticist and author Adam Rutherford examines the evidence.

Scientific American By Adam Rutherford

The age of consumer genomics has arrived. Nowadays you can send a vial of your spit in the mail and pay to see how your unique genetic code relates to all manner of human activity—from sports to certain diets to skin cream to a preference for fine wines, even to dating. The most widespread and popular companies in this market analyze ancestry, and the biggest of these are 23andMe and AncestryDNA, both with more than five million users in their databases. These numbers dwarf the numbers of human genomes in scientific databases. Genetic genealogy is big business, and has gone mainstream. But how accurate are these tests—truly?

First, a bit of genetics 101. DNA is the code in your cells. It is the richest but also most complex treasure trove of information that we’ve ever attempted to understand. Three billion individual letters of DNA, roughly, organized into 23 pairs of chromosomes—although one of those pairs is not a pair half the time (men are XY, women are XX). The DNA is arranged in around 20,000 genes (even though debate remains about what the definition of a gene actually is). And rather than genes, almost all of your DNA—97 percent—is a smorgasbord of control regions, scaffolding and huge chunks of repeated sections. Some of it is just garbage, left over from billions of years of evolution.

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