Due to decreases in cost and companies that complete them making the process available to the general public, DNA testing have become extremely popular over the past decade. Significant advances in technology now allow customers to order DNA testing kits online, test themselves with a simple mouth swab, and send the kit back to the company for testing.
While this is a convenient and easy process, there are still many people that do not know what the results of a DNA can show. Below are 5 types of information that DNA testing can disclose.
1. Information about family background
DNA test has proven to be a very useful tool for testing and finding out the family background of any person. It helps a person to determine information about parent, siblings, and members of the extended family.
DNA testing is also immensely helpful in identifying people who have been separated from their families due to events such as separations at birth, war, or kidnapping. It can also be used to definitely prove the paternity of a child if this is ever in doubt.
2. Helps in criminal investigations
DNA testing has become a useful, go-to tool in solving crimes whether they are historical or recent. DNA test results are much clearer and prominent than fingerprints and help to detect criminals easily. This is because DNA is left at and can be collected from most crimes scenes whereas fingerprints are not always present. DNA samples from blood, skin, and hair of suspects can be sent easily to a lab for testing and information used to develop a profile can be compared to samples already in a crime database. DNA testing is incredibly helpful in solving sexual assault cases as semen can be tested to determine the identity of a suspect.
In addition to identifying perpetrators of crime, DNA testing proves to be very useful in identifying victims of crime whose body has become decomposed and cannot be identified easily.
3. Prevention of diseases
DNA testing can be completed to identify and prevent many diseases. It helps to find out that which disease a person is predisposed to have and take preventive measures at earlier stages. For example, multigene testing is a type of DNA test that can be completed to discover gene mutations associated with breat and ovarian cancers.
DNA testing is also an effective method of screening and identifying any genetic disease which may pass on from the parents to a newborn child. This helps to identify problems and precautionary measures can then be taken to avoid them or minimize their impact. Certain risk factors can be identified and treatment can be done in a more focused way.
4. Identification of disaster victims
DNA testing plays a very important role in the identification of disaster victims like a plane crash or any natural disasters. Sometimes the bodies of the victims are not easily identifiable. Besides dental records, sometimes DNA analysis is the only option for identification.
In this process, DNA extracted from a disaster victim can be compared to the profile of a living relative. This allows authorities to confirm the identity of a victim based on the similarities of the samples. Because DNA testing usually offers a probability of a match of around 99 percent, this is an effective tool in identifying victims as the chances of errors are very slim.
5. Future predictions
DNA testing can be an effective way to determine the health of a fetus. Scientists can use DNA samples from the parents of an unborn child to conclude a lot of things about the baby.
DNA analysis can determine whether the fetus has any chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to genetic disorders such as Down’s syndrome or Cri du chat syndrome.