In recent years, DNA testing has become a major industry for some companies. Now, more than ever, people want to know who their ancestors were, what races are represented in their bloodline, and how they should connect with other people on the planet. DNA tests represent huge advances in technology, especially because you can now order a DNA test kit online and run the test yourself. No more long waits to doctor’s offices and expensive fees. So if you’re curious about your heritage, DNA tests are definitely the way to go…and here are four things you should keep in mind when embarking on this amazing adventure.
1. IT IS POSSIBLE TO EARN MONEY FROM A DNA TEST
There are some companies that will pay you anywhere between twenty dollars to almost five hundred dollars for the privilege of accessing your DNA. Uses for your DNA are often health-related. Scientists and doctors are eager to find links between genetics and various diseases and conditions like cancer, dementia, and other diseases (both non-infectious and contagious). There is also at least one company that will record your genomes and then allow you to sell that data for internet currency. It may seem a little weird and there are privacy issues, but this could be a good way to earn some extra money.
2. DNA TESTING CAN HEAD OFF POTENTIAL HEALTH DISASTERS
When your DNA is tested, doctors who view the sequence will usually be able to tell whether you have a high risk for any number of disease, including cancer or Alzheimer’s. While those genetic markers do not guarantee that you’ll suffer from those diseases, they are a good indication of potential risks and it is always a good idea to take preventative measures if possible. These markers aren’t always accurate, though, so don’t panic right away – seek advice from your doctor.
3. DNA TESTING CAN GIVE YOU A GOOD IDEA OF WHO YOUR ANCESTORS WERE
…but it’s not always as trustworthy as some would like to think (or claim). DNA testing can certainly give you a good idea of where your relatives and ancestors lived and what your genetic make-up is. But because DNA tests cannot go very far back when it comes to comparing DNA records (because DNA is a relatively new concept and wasn’t collected in past eras) information on your ancestors can become faulty the farther back you go. Diversity in DNA testing is also a problem, as the Middle East and Asia isn’t as well represented as Europe. Still, it’s better to know at least something of your ancestors than nothing.
4. DNA TESTS CAN LEAD YOU TO STILL-LIVING RELATIVES YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD
This is the personal pinnacle of DNA testing. To discover that you had a second cousin, a great-aunt, or a even a half-sibling you never knew of is the happy ending of several DNA tests…and there’s a chance it could be yours as well! So invest in a DNA test – you won’t regret it.