9 Interesting Facts about Genetic Testing‍

9 Interesting Facts about Genetic Testing‍

Genetic testing is a field that’s only recently become accessible to the average person. In the past, it was only available in special places like hospitals or research centers; which meant that most people couldn’t get access to it. Today, however, genetic testing has become more affordable and widely accessible. This means that more people are getting tested than ever before; which has led to an increasing number of interesting facts about genetic testing. 

Although genetic testing may seem like a simple process, there is so much information involved. Here are some interesting facts about genetic testing you should know if you’re interested in the topic of course.

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing is the use of DNA analysis to look for markers or traits in people that may be linked to certain diseases. There are a few different types of genetic testing that can be done; but the most common is to look at samples of your DNA to see if you’ve got a marker; that’s associated with a certain disease or condition. For example, cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited condition that affects the lungs. Those with the condition may develop infections, excessive mucus production, and even lung damage. 

Genetic testing can easily look for markers in DNA that are associated with CF, and in many cases; people who have these markers can learn they have CF; and then have the option to have treatments that could potentially cure the condition. Other genetic conditions may be rarer and less common but can be incredibly serious and life-threatening if not detected early. Cystic fibrosis is just one example of a genetic condition that may be detected by a DNA test. Paternity testing is a type of DNA testing performed in order to determine paternity and to ascertain the actual nature of the relationship. There are many others that are often detected through genetic testing.

It’s used to determine your ancestry

As you’ve probably figured out by now, genetic testing is often used to determine your ancestry. This is something that’s still not well-understood by the general public, but it’s a huge topic in genetics. Your ancestry is the group of people who have contributed to your DNA. It includes everyone who’s ever been in your family tree, including great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. 

Understanding your ancestry can help a lot when it comes to everything from disease risk to understanding nutrition and genealogy. For example, if you’re interested in a particular ethnic group, knowing your ancestry can help you understand; what diseases and conditions are more prevalent in that group on average. You can also use your knowledge to understand what kinds of foods to eat; (or not eat) are more likely to be good for your health.

There are three types of genetic tests

While there are a handful of genetic tests that are used to detect diseases; most genetic testing is used for ancestry-related reasons. The different types of genetic testing are; ancestry and may also be used to learn more about a person’s family history. 

Genetic ancestry – This type of testing uses DNA analysis to determine what ethnic ancestry a person has. It may not be entirely accurate, but it’s a good way to see; what your ethnicity is and give you an idea of what your ancestors looked like. 

Genealogy – This type of testing is used to learn more about your family history. It may include looking at the DNA of a family member; learning about the people who came before you through census records, etc.

The process of getting a genetic test can be intimidating

For many people, the idea of getting a genetic test is a little scary. This can be because the process of getting a genetic test; and the information that comes with it, can be intimidating. If you have a medical condition, it is possible that your doctor will recommend a genetic test to find out; whether you are genetically predisposed to that condition. This means that you could one day get a genetic test for something; as simple as a condition like Cystic Fibrosis or Alzheimer’s disease. 

While you may want to get tested for these health conditions; there are a few things to keep in mind before you decide to get tested. First of all, the majority of people with a particular condition are not genetically predisposed to it. So if you do get tested, it is extremely important that you have a conversation with your doctor. They will be able to explain what their tests are looking for, and what they mean if they find something. Doctors are also able to tell you if you are genetically predisposed to any medical conditions.

It may take years before you get a result from testing

This is one of the main myths about genetic testing. Many people believe that once they get a genetic test, the results will be ready to read the same day. In actuality, you’ll most likely wait anywhere from a few weeks to a few years before your result is ready. The reason it may take so long is that most genetic testing companies only offer a limited number of tests per day. So, even though there are hundreds of genetic markers available for testing; each company only offers a certain number of tests based on demand.

Genetics and health are not the same things

It’s important to note that genetics doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with health. The fact that you have a gene that’s associated with a certain disease doesn’t mean you’ll get the disease. It just means that you may be at higher risk of developing the disease if you have the gene. Genetic testing can easily give you information about your ancestry; but it can’t tell you if you’re going to have a disease in the future. That’s a completely different thing.

How accurate are genetic tests?

Most genetic testing companies claim that their tests are accurate up to 90%. That means that in most cases, the outcome will be correct. It won’t tell you exactly what disease you have or how severe it is; but it will give you a pretty good idea. There are a few cases where genetic testing doesn’t return a clear result. One of these cases is when a person has what’s called a homozygous variant. This means that the person has two copies of the same gene, which can mess up the result.

There’s No Standard Process For Genetic Testing In the US

Genetic testing used to only be available in specialized locations like hospitals or research centres. As a result, most people couldn’t get access to it. Today, however, genetic testing has become more affordable and widely accessible thanks to companies like 23; andMe and direct-to-consumer services like Myriad Genetics. 

As a result, more people than ever are learning about genetics and trying out genetic testing as a result. Unfortunately, the process of getting a genetic test is largely unregulated. This means that there’s no standard process for testing centres to follow or regulation to keep it safe for consumers. This means that genetic testing centres can range from high-quality labs to unsafe places. Thankfully, there are a few places you can try; but it’s important to keep in mind that none of them is regulated.

Genetic Counseling is Available to Everyone

Genetic counselling is a service that most health care providers offer. This means that you do not have to be specially referred to a counsellor or wait for an appointment. If you are going to get a genetic test; or if you just want to know what information is out there for you and your family; genetic counselling is available to everyone. Genetic counselling is offered by healthcare providers, such as doctors, nurses, genetic counsellors and others. After you talk to your healthcare provider; you can find a genetic counsellor in your area through services like Clinical Genetics Network.

How to get genetic testing

The best way to get genetic testing done is to visit a genetic counsellor. This is someone who’s specially trained to help you navigate the process of getting genetic testing done.

Summary

Genetic testing is a relatively new field that can help you learn more about your DNA and ancestry. It can also help you understand your disease risk; and find out what specific genetic markers you have that may be linked to certain diseases.

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