How Do Home DNA Test Kits Work?

 Home DNA test kits can really reveal a lot of information about a particular person and thus, possibly improve your overall quality of life. If your home DNA test kit is an ancestry test, the most common type of DNA test kits, you can find out a lot about your genes and heritage. Paternity tests are also conducted utilizing home DNA test kits. Some kits can tell you if you’re at risk of getting or already do have a genetic health disorder or are a carrier of a health problem or condition. There are also skin care DNA test kits which can provide info on a cellular level about your skin’s elasticity, collagen quality, and its antioxidant levels. With so many intriguing and technical things you can discover with these kits, they truly are a great investment, and they aren’t too pricey either.

These home DNA test kits can essentially be purchased anywhere. They are available in many pharmacy stores or online. Depending on the type of DNA Test Kit, different materials may come in your kit. For most home DNA paternity tests, samples of DNA are taken from the subject’s cheek cells. Therefore, the kit will include swabs to gather that sample as well as paper packaging for storage of the swab. DNA test kits used to analyze ancestry information use genetic information from the subject’s saliva. Therefore, the kit comes with a tube that is used to hold the saliva sample and to protect it while it is sent in to the testing lab.

Typically, the subject collects the sample at home and sends it into a lab. From there, the lab receives the sample and removes the genetic material from the sample. The genetic material includes chromosomes, DNA and RNA. The goal of DNA testing is to identify genetic material and/or reveal genetic changes to look for genetic health conditions, ancestry information, and paternity links.

This genetic material is utilized to look for genetic disorders, which are linked to just one specific gene. Genetic testing used to only hone in on testing for strictly just alterations or mutations in genes based on the subject’s health condition or family medical history. The issue with this is that some diseases, conditions and genetic disorders are not so easily identified. They look for more than one gene or large chunks of the genome. 

Testing from the samples gathered from the DNA home testing kits involves a few different techniques. Polymerase chain reaction, also known as PCR, involves making many copies and clones of pieces of the DNA sample. This is known as “amplifying” DNA. Doing this allows any genes to be measured and analyze for variants that may cause certain health issues. DNA sequencing allows the lab to take a look at the order of the DNA bases that comprise the DNA. From here, lab technicians can see if a gene contains changes that are associated with a specific disorder. Studying the subject’s chromosomes, also known as cytogenetics, can tell you a lot about ancestry and diseases as well.

One big drawback, however, of home DNA testing kits is that the results are not always accurate and will lead to further, more definite testing and analytics. Studies conducted by the Cleveland Clinic reveal that most accurate genetic testing needs to occur through your doctor or genetic counselor, but the home DNA tests are a great place to start! They are fun, can tell you a bunch of information about yourself and are cost effective. Get ready to find out some pretty cool stuff about yourself!

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