DEC 29, 2017 2:40 PM PST

How Reliable Are Genetic Testing Kits?

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

There are many test kits on the market that claim that when you send in a sample of your DNA, they can return answers about potential health risks and challenges you may face. You can also find out more about your heritage from these products. But how many of these claims are true, and what is part of an overblown sales pitch? You can learn a little more about that from this video from Time.

If you send in a bit of spit, your entire genome probably won't be sequenced; companies use genetic markers to perform their testing, and the markers that companies use are not the same. So there may be some slight variations in the results you get back if you were to select several different kits, but it is likely that they are more or less reliable as far as ancestry goes.

As for health conditions, it depends on the disorder. We know a lot about the genetic basis of some, and very little about others. Also, some of the diseases you might be at risk for do not necessarily have treatments. And of course, being at risk does not mean you will get a disease. It's also important to consider the impact of your environment. As such, if you embark on genetic testing, keep the limitations in mind, and speak to a doctor if you have questions.
About the Author
BS
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
NOV 06, 2020
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
Located inside the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Z Pulsed Power Facility (or Z Machine) i ...
NOV 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
NOV 12, 2020
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
Orca pods heavily depend on vocal communication for survival. Their unique ability to communicate with other pod members ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
APR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Celebrating National Pet Day
APR 09, 2021
Celebrating National Pet Day
Sunday, April 11, is National Pet Day! From pandemic companions to viral videos, pets are a huge part of our lives. Even ...
JUN 04, 2021
Plants & Animals
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
JUN 04, 2021
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
How an elephant picks up a tortilla chip could inspire next-generation suction technology.
JUL 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
JUL 08, 2021
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, has giant erupting plumes of water that, scientists say, can not be explained by known g ...
Loading Comments...