Back in 1952, the very first x-ray image of DMA was taken. This led to the life-changing discovery of the unique structure of the DNA in our cells – the double helix.
The discovery of the structure of DNA was just the beginning of a collection of amazing scientific journeys. Fast forward to today and we now know the full genomic sequence of human DNA.
As science and technology has evolved, it has given every day people the ability to learn more about their DNA. Something as simple as using a saliva test kit or providing a fingerprint can teach you so much about the DNA inside your cells.
But why would you want to learn about your DNA anyway?
Here are six reasons why you might take a DNA test.
To Learn More About Your Inheritance
It’s always interesting learning about your ancestors and you can do this by looking at your own DNA.
DNA gets passed down through generations. As it does so, mutations occur and the DNA that is inherited from the mother and father gets mixed up to form the offspring’s DNA.
Because of this mixing of DNA and the sporadic mutations that can occur during its replication, the exact DNA that you have may be very different from your ancestors’ DNA.
However, you can still learn a lot about your inheritance by taking a DNA test.
An ancestral DNA test will enable you to discover your past. It gives you the incredible ability to discover your ethnic origins and background.
To Find Long Lost Family Members
You may also be able to find long lost relatives who are still alive through DNA testing.
If you’ve lost contact with a parent, sibling, or cousin, DNA testing might be the answer to a reunion. Once you’ve taken the test, you have the ability to connect with relatives from all over the world.
This form of DNA testing works by finding the closest matches to your DNA on a particular database. When you find out who has the closest DNA to yours, you can reach out to them and maybe meet up in the future.
To Find Family Members You’ve Never Met
You might never have met a lot of your family members. For example, if your parents relocated to another country, you may have several cousins, aunties, and uncles that you’ve never seen in person. If you are adopted, you may not have ever laid eyes on your biological parents.
Identifying your biological relatives through DNA testing gives you the ability to search for these people. You can find their details and get in touch to spark a conversation and, potentially, a long-term relationship.
Finding close matches to your DNA gives you the ability to discover immediate relatives quite easily. It can be a little trucker with more distant relatives but it’s still possible to find them.
It’s important to go into this type of familial DNA testing with an open mind. You may find a match, reach out to this person, and find out that they aren’t interested in connecting with you. Or the DNA test might not be successful in helping you to find these people in the first place.
Make sure you consider all of the potential options before you take the DNA test so that you aren’t disappointed.
You don’t need a reason to test your DNA. Sometimes you just want to learn about the amazing double helices inside your cells!
You can buy a DNA testing kit that can be used at home, so you can take the test yourself. You then send your DNA sample away and get the results just a couple of weeks later.
Home DNA testing kits also make the perfect gift for the science lovers in your life. They’ll love testing their own DNA and learning more about their inheritance.
For Paternity Testing
One of the main reasons for taking a DNA test is to establish paternity. DNA testing can be used to match a father’s DNA with their child’s DNA to confirm that they are the biological father.
This type of testing is often used for personal reassurance but it can also be used by a father to obtain the rights to visit their child.
Legally, DNA paternity testing may be necessary in custody hearings when a father is trying to obtain child support. Authorities must determine the biological mother and father of the child to make a fair decision with regard to custody.
For Disease Screening
There are many different diseases that are caused by changes to the DNA and chromosomes in the cells. Genetic research regarding disease predisposition is ongoing and scientists are discovering more and more every year.
DNA testing can be performed to help you learn more about your genetic potential for disease. You can learn about which genetic mutations are present in your DNA and may increase your risk of developing certain diseases.
You can use this information to make positive changes to your diet and lifestyle to reduce your chances of developing these diseases.
Similarly, genetic testing can be helpful for future parents. You can take a DNA test to identify whether you are carrying a faulty recessive gene.
When both parents are carrying copies of a faulty recessive gene, there is a risk of their child being born with a genetic condition.
That’s why it can be imperative for aspiring parents to get their DNA tested. Knowing more about which faulty genes are in the DNA may affect their decision on whether or not to have a child.
If a woman is going through fertility treatment, they may be offered DNA testing as part of the process. Many countries provide prenatal genetic screening tests for a selection of chromosomal disorders during the first or second trimester of pregnancy.