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What can you find out by taking a DNA test?
Besides a paternity test that can be done through DNA testing, you can also find relatives around the globe you even didn't know about. It's possible because many DNA testing laboratories allow their clients to get an insight into whether their other clients are biologically related to them. In addition to that, DNA testing provides you with health information about whether you have a genetic predisposition for developing breast cancer or Alzheimer's or even a certain type of cancer.
Besides these types of information that you can discover through DNA testing, the following are things to seriously consider before you make an online purchase.
1. Be sure you can deal with the information you get.
As already mentioned, DNA testing can lead to the discovery of various information concerning your health and relatives. You need to understand that there's a possibility you will find out some information you won't like. For example, some people want to look into their ancestry through DNA testing and end up discovering who their real father is. Or you could find out that you have certain changes in the BRCA genes, which can lead to ovarian or breast cancer. In other words, be sure that you will be able to deal with the results, whatever they may be.
2. Differentiate the facts from the fantasy.
You need to be prepared for the differing statements that some DNA testing laboratories make. Some of them give you proven scientific facts, but some of them simply don't. That means that you need to know what actually is possible to determine through DNA tests and what isn't. Yes, DNA testing can tell you something about your ancestry and who your relatives are, but it is pure science fiction that it's possible to determine how successful your child can be at basketball or if you prefer white or red wine.
3. Know that your insurance could be affected.
In countries like Australia, genetic test results can affect private health insurance, meaning that your genetic test results could have an impact on your life insurance, as you are obliged to disclose any information you have on your health at the moment you are applying for life insurance. So, if you want to do a reliable DNA test in Australia or a country with similar health insurance policies, know that a life insurance company has the right to know about your results.
4. Be prepared to seek medical guidance afterward.
In case a serious genetic condition is identified from your DNA data, you will need to consult a professional regarding the condition in question to get further information on what to expect and what precautionary measures to take. Forget about finding out information about certain genetic data on the internet—it is probably too complex to understand, meaning you will need an expert to explain to you all the medical implications.
It's possible that the DNA testing company you choose offers counseling and certain medical services. Just be prepared to get on a long waiting list, as there are a lot of other people who would like to have a consult within the genetic service.
5. Inform yourself on who will have access to your DNA data.
It's possible that your DNA data won't be as protected and private as you would want it to be. Certain online genetic companies don't keep DNA data completely private and confidential, and many of them keep your sample indefinitely, so even if you demand your sample to be destroyed, it could be difficult to achieve that with these companies.
You should also know that some companies have been selling their clients' DNA data to third parties, often without the clients knowing it, so read carefully what you are giving your consent for.
As you can see, an online DNA test is simple in means of doing it—your online application is easy to do and you will get the results quite fast. However, you need to be aware of the implications that come with DNA results in order to make an informed decision.