DNA testing is the basis for all sorts of other fields from medicine to agriculture and thus plays an essential role in research. Personal DNA testing provides a unique perspective on our individual genetics and how it can impact our quality of life. So it’s no wonder that demand for this type of analysis kit has been increasing every year.
There are so many things you can find out that can affect the way you behave in your life and knowing might help you change possible outcomes. And here are some of them.
1. Study of human health
Single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs present the most commonly found genetic variation in humans. They occur normally in our DNAs and happen in every 300 nucleotides meaning that there are 10 million of them in the human genome. The scientists use them to determine risks for certain diseases in people, but most of them don’t affect our health.
This knowledge is then used to monitor a person’s health and prepare them for possible outcomes, as well as which conditions to monitor during their regular medical checks. There are certain diseases that are inherited from your parents which are caused by abnormalities in the genome. This includes diseases like Huntington’s, breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, melanoma, Alzheimer’s and others which you can then try to prepare for. For example, if you have a high risk of developing melanoma you will certainly stay out of the sun and wear a sunscreen at all times.
Some hereditary genetic disorders are affected by lifestyle and environmental factors like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Most of these disorders are diagnosed at birth or during childhood, but they may also be undetected at that time, like Huntington’s disease. A prenatal diagnosis like amniocentesis can help you determine certain abnormalities which the ultrasound couldn’t detect.
Genetic factors for developing obesity are the topic of scientific debate, but the presence of the FTO variant showed the increased risk for developing this condition. This is due to the fact that weight is influenced by your lifestyle as well and you can control it with some discipline and determination. However, there are rare occasions when genes do influence the development of obesity.
This rare type is called monogenic obesity and happens due to mutations in genes responsible for food intake and control of appetite. Also, a condition known as common obesity was also connected to genetic mutation through animal studies. However, even with a genetic predisposition to obesity, choosing a healthy lifestyle and diet, as well as physical activity can help.
3. Crime-solving possibilities
DNA profiling is used to solve crimes and is commonly used in forensic science during investigations. The process uses DNA materials available on the crime scene and compares them to the genetic material from available suspects. The process was developed in 1984 by Sir Alec Jeffreys, a British geneticist and was used for the first time in 1986 in a criminal investigation in the UK.
However, it took time for this method to be widely accepted, even though it showed its crime-solving capabilities early on after its development. Namely, in 1986 a teenage boy has exonerated for a crime thanks to the DNA testing, helping to capture the real perpetrator as well. It may not be flashy like in the movies or TV shows, but the science is strong and effective.
DNA tests can tell you a lot about your heritage. Mitochondria are parts of our cells responsible for creating energy and we inherit them from our mothers. Thanks to them, the lineage of all humans could be traced to a woman science nicknamed Mitochondrial Eve possibly from Africa.
Analysis of family relationship DNA is also offered in the personal tests and you can easily find out your ancestry that way. Some were even able to find their siblings or biological parents through personal DNA tests. Also, this is a helpful tool for those creating a detailed family tree since it will give you information from which parts of the world your ancestry is from.
Most Caucasian and Asian population have a Neanderthal heritage which is not a bad thing. They were actually the ones who used tools, fire and build complex communities and lived 40,000 years ago.
All in all
Using a DNA test as a personal tool to determine certain factors is useful and can help an individual mitigate certain diseases. In the wider sense, DNA profiling helped solve crimes, history, agriculture and pharmaceutical sciences to improve the human life. The result may not be always favorable for a person, but they will help you choose the path that will improve your quality of life.