dna faq

DNA FAQs

The important questions you want to know - that you can't find elsewhere in our site - or you can't be bothered to look for. FAQs is the go to for a range of simple and quick answers that have so far eluded you.

Common FAQ’s

What can I learn from a home DNA test?

The range of tests available now range from ancestry and ethnic background, to diseases you may be susceptible to, to the best diet and exercise for you. You can now also DNA your pet to understand more about its breed and health. The science of DNA is developing all the time with advancements in techniques.

 

How much Are These tests?

The price of a test is entirely dependent on what it is testing for, the number of conditions it is assessing, and the number of reports generated. Do remember that companies often offer flash sales. The price of tests can vary from £49 to £499,

 

I’ve already taken a DNA test, can my sample results be used by another company?

Each testing company will differ, but some companies do allow you to use the data from other test providers.

 

What do all the laboratory Accreditations mean?

When you are choosing a test do look at where the laboratory is and what accreditations it has. To be accredited will mean that you can be reassured that that the lab has been independently assessed for its procedures and accuracy of results. The following are common accreditations you will see:

The UK Ministry of Justice. This UK government department provides accreditations to test companies who do parentage tests. As directed by the civil courts in England and Wales. If you are taking a legal paternity test, then look for a test provider that has this accreditation.

ISO/IEC 17025:2005. This is the most important international standard for testing and calibrating. It should reassure you that test data is accurate.

CLIA. Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments. This is US accreditation and to earn a CLIA a laboratory has to be assessed on its techniques and procedures.

CAP. College of American pathologist. They work to ensure that results are accurate and reliable.

 

Are Home DNA tests backed By real Science?

The science behind DNA testing is well established and each home DNA testing website will explain the methodology they use to get to your results. It is important to add some caveats, however. For ancestry testing for example do be aware that your DNA is compared to the data set held by each company, so the results are only as good as the library of data they are compared against. As far as health testing is concerned DNA testing has come a long way to help identify risks around certain diseases but it cannot say for certain that you will get a disease, as other factors like environmental factors can come into play.

 

Can You Gift A DNA test?

Many test providers do offer the opportunity to gift a DNA test.

 

How Is My Sample processed?

How your sample is processed will depend on the test provider and the test itself. Each provider should clearly explain on their website what happens to your sample.

 

Can A DNA Test Tell Me If I Will Get Cancer?

No test will provide you with a definitive answer. We now know that mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can put you at risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. DNA tests look at these mutationsbut many tests look at three variations whilst we know that there are more than 1,000 variations in these genes. There are also other factors that may affect wheyher you will get cancer including your gender, age and full family history. A DNA test will not take all these factors into account. As with all health testing it may highlight a risk but if you are concerned about any health issue then you are advised to speak to a doctor4 who can conduct a range of clinical tests.

 

Why Would I DNA Test My Dog?

A DNA test will confirm the breed of your dog and highlight any health risks.

 

How Accurate Are DNA Tests?

In paternity testing most test providers say that their tests are 99.99% accurate (with the mother’s DNA) in determining if a man is the father of a child. The accuracy in heritage and ancestry tests will depend on the size of the database held by the testing company. In health tests it is important to be aware that you are being told of risks to your health, you cannot be told that you will definitely get a certain condition or disease. Test results in this sense do not give you a guarantee. When selecting a test provider always look at the accreditations their laboratory holds, that way you can be certain that they are following rigorous testing procedures to produce the greatest accuracy.

 

Why Do You Need A Maternal Sample In A Paternity Test?

Most DNA paternity tests look at 20 genetic markers of the alleged father and compare them to the child. But mutations can occur which produce inconclusive results. Having maternal DNA confirms a mutation and adds certainty to the result.

 

What Is A Legal Test?

A legal test is one that is required in court. A home DNA test does not meet the requirements of a legal test. A legal test requires a strict chain of custody, so your sample must be taken by a neutral third party with all sample sealed with tamper tape.

 

Will A Diet Test Help Me Lose Weight?

A diet test will reveal how you process certain foods. This knowledge could help you make changes to your diet which ultimately could help you lose weight. However other factors will be involved including your environment, your fitness and other health issues. So, it’s a tool but not a guarantee that you will lose weight.

 

Is My Data Safe?

It is very important that you read carefully all the terms and conditions of a nhy testing company before you buy a product. You need to be clear what happens to your sample, how your identity is kept secure and whether your data will be sold to any third parties and also whether you have the option to opt in or out of any research.