The holiday season always sees a big surge in orders for DNA testing kits. Most people would like to know more about their family tree, and getting such an opportunity right around the holiday season could be an emotional affair. In fact, having a set of DNA results makes for great conversation next time the family gets together for something. Many people would therefore love to get a DNA testing kit as one of their Christmas presents.
The question of ancestry is of acute interest in the settler countries of the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Inter-marriage in these countries has been occurring for several generations to the point where it is becoming difficult to compile a comprehensive family tree. Because of this, some have looked to technology to attempt to solve this issue.
Not all DNA testing kits are the same, as many of these services cater to certain niche markets. What works for one person’s needs might not work for another. This is why looking at reviews of ancestry.com DNA test as well as reviews for the other well-known testing services is highly recommended, in order to pick the one that is most helpful to your situation.
What a DNA Test Can Do for You
Most DNA tests work in similar ways. The DNA testing service will send you a testing kit straight to your home. There will be instructions on what you need to do. Most likely, you will be given a test tube and be asked to spit into it up to a certain designated level.
There will then be instructions on how to send it back for testing. The wait will usually take a few weeks depending on the back log of samples. After the waiting period, the test results will be sent to you, and you will know where your family tree comes from.
DNA tests allow people to find out exactly what their ancestry is. Sometimes, records are not very detailed and only passed down verbally. This is never perfect and can leave big holes in your ancestry that you would like to have answered and settled once and for all.
This is especially true when it comes to those who have been adopted or has an ancestor that was adopted. Many times, your last name might not be the best way of determining your most common place of origin. The results of a good DNA test can help greatly in clearing the air.
Another thing DNA tests can do for people is to give them more insight on their medical profile. The thing about certain medical conditions is that most of them are to some degree heritable. Many of your genes can influence your susceptibility to certain medical conditions either positively or negatively.
People who have spent generations in certain parts of the world will also have adapted to their surroundings and this adaptation might even alter their genetic code, making entire groups of people susceptible to a particular medical condition.
For example, Northern Europeans are significantly more likely than any other group to have Cystic Fibrosis. It is a medical condition that is significantly heritable and can cause much damage if not addressed early on. This means that knowing that you are more likely to contract this because of your ancestry is important in determining which conditions you should be on the lookout for.
Taking a DNA test cannot just help you satisfy your curiosities but can also help you prepare for your medical future as well. By knowing where most of your ancestors are from, you will be better able to predict which heritable conditions you might have and formulate a strategy to lookout for any of their symptoms in hopes of maximizing your chances of survival.
More specifically, knowing your family’s specific genetic history will also allow you to see which conditions are specific to your family in terms of your likelihood of contacting them. Knowledge is power and knowing these things can be very helpful to you and your family in the future.
What to Look for in a DNA Testing Service
Not all DNA tests are made the same. This is simply because although DNA tests share many similarities, there are some key differences between some of them depending on what specific purpose they seek to achieve. It is always recommended that you purchase a test from a service that is very tough on privacy and would not sell your information to the highest bidder.
Some DNA tests who focus specifically on ancestry will most likely have massive data bases of DNA samples from all around the world. The more samples they have and the more dispersed those samples are, the better they will be at accurately determining the ancestry of the samples that are sent in.
Make Sure the Testing Service is Good
One important thing to remember about DNA tests is that there is that delay between you sending in your sample and the results being mailed to you. The main cause of this delay is the sheer number of orders that these labs receive, especially around the holiday season.
So, it is important to inform the recipient of the testing kit that patience is a virtue. Because they will be just one of thousands who received the exact same gift this holiday season, they might end up waiting a while for their results to come back. But once it gets back, they will now have a conversation starter in their pockets.