Best DNA tests of 2021

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DNA testing can provide useful information about ancestry and health factors, such as an increased risk of developing certain conditions.

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DNA is the model that builds organisms. There are two types of DNA: nuclear and mitochondrial.

Every cell has a nucleus and the DNA it contains is nuclear DNA. A complete set of nuclear DNA is called a genome. A person receives half of their nuclear DNA from their male parent and the other half from their female parent.

Mitochondria also contain small amounts of DNA. This part of a cell produces most of the chemical energy needed to power the biochemical reactions of the cell. All of a person’s mitochondrial DNA comes from their mother.

Genetic testing, or DNA testing, aims to identify parts of DNA that are linked to specific geographic locations and the likelihood of developing specific diseases, such as breast cancer.

Learn more about home DNA testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describe several types of genetic tests:

  • Monogenic tests: A doctor may order this if they suspect that a person has a certain disease, such as sickle cell anemia, or if the person has a known genetic mutation. This test only looks at one gene.
  • Panel test: It concerns several genes. A doctor may order this if a person has low muscle tone, short stature, or epilepsy. Panel tests can also identify genes linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, such as breast or colorectal cancer.
  • Exome sequencing: This examines all the genes that may be responsible for certain conditions. Doctors can order it for people with a more complex medical history.
  • Genome sequencing: It is the most comprehensive genetic test, and it examines all of a person’s DNA. The results can indicate genetic causes of health problems, and there may be unrelated side results as well.

A person can use a home genetic test to learn more about their ancestors, their risk of developing certain health problems, and their likely reactions to certain medications.

However, as the CDC notes, home and work genetic testing differ. A home DNA test cannot replace one performed by a healthcare professional. If a person receives worrying results, they should make an appointment with a doctor.

People can take these factors into account when purchasing a home DNA test:

  • Information: Not all DNA tests are for the same genes. It is important to find a test that offers the information you want.
  • Privacy: Consider a company’s privacy policy first, as some companies may sell a person’s data and results to third parties.
  • Security: Make sure the company only allows authorized people to access personal information.
  • Care follow-up: Some companies provide additional information on test results and advice on next steps.

Home DNA testing is not a substitute for professional medical advice and testing.

Below are some home DNA tests that a person might consider.

23andMe +

It is the company’s most comprehensive genetic test, containing 170 reports on topics such as ancestry, inheritance, traits, and pharmacogenetics, which show how well a person responds to drugs.

More specifically, the test provides:

  • Health predisposition reports: More than 10 are looking for factors such as the BRCA gene, late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Carrier Status Reports: More than 40 people are looking for factors such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and genetic hearing loss.
  • Well-being reports: More than five seek deep sleep, lactose intolerance, and genetic weight.
  • Pharmacogenetic reports: Three examine how the body processes certain drugs.
  • Trait reports: Over 30 reports research factors such as male hair loss, sweet vs. savory tastes, and a unibrow.
  • Ancestry reports: Over 50 reports examine a person’s ancestry.

This test requires a saliva sample. 23andMe notifies a person when their results are ready, usually within 3 to 4 weeks of sending the sample.

23andMe + is a subscription service. At the time of publication, the first year was $ 228 and the annual renewal was $ 29.

Regulations and confidentiality

23andMe at the approval of Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The company states that it does not share a person’s information without their consent and that it complies with federal law to protect information against discrimination from employer and health insurance. The company also does not provide information to law enforcement without subpoena.

23andMe says it uses separate databases for personal information and genetic results. It also uses firewalls to restrict unauthorized access and a secure socket layer, better known as SSL, encryption throughout its website.

tellmeGen Advanced

tellmeGen says this kit examines over 750,000 genetic markers and provides:

  • Health reports: These describe a genetic predisposition to certain conditions.
  • Carrier reports: These describe whether a person is a carrier of certain health problems.
  • Trait reports: These describe the personality traits of a person.
  • Well-being reports: These describe how a person responds to exercise and diet.
  • Ancestry: These describe a person’s ancestry.

To view their results, available on a range of devices, someone logs into the company’s secure system.

The company classifies health outcomes into high, low, and medium risk categories. People can compare their risk to that of the general population.

At the time of publication, tellmeGen Advanced was priced at $ 149.

Regulations and confidentiality

According to tellmeGen, this DNA test kit uses FDA compliant extraction methods and processes samples in International Organization for Standardization compliant laboratories.

The company cannot currently offer pharmacogenetic testing to residents of the United States, but it is working closely with the FDA to comply with its regulations.

tellmeGen highlights its health license issued by the government and its strict compliance with data protection laws.

CRI Genetics Ancestry + Health

This test offers less health information than some of its competitors. Its results include:

  • Trait reports: These provide genetic information about hair and eye color and smell.
  • Well-being reports: These describe how the body metabolizes caffeine and alcohol.
  • Allergy Reports: These describe the substances to which a person may be allergic or sensitive.
  • Nutritional reports: These describe how the body processes certain foods.
  • Ancestry: These describe a person’s ancestry.

The company claims that a person receives their test kit within 5 days of purchase. After a person collects a saliva sample and sends it to company labs, they will receive their results within 6-8 weeks.

At the time of publication, CRI Genetics Ancestry + Health was priced at $ 199.

Regulations and confidentiality

CRI Genetics does not share the labs it uses.

He says he does not label test results with personal information and uses standard security procedures when storing personal information, DNA samples, and test results.

A person can tell the company to destroy their information, and CRI Genetics says they will comply.

A person can also undergo genetic testing in a healthcare facility.

These professional tests seek more genetic markers. And they provide more information about current health conditions and those to which a person is predisposed.

It is important to note that a home DNA test does not replace one performed by a healthcare professional. Anyone who receives a worrying result should contact their doctor for further advice.

Below are some frequently asked questions about home DNA testing.

How accurate are DNA tests?

The FDA emphasizes the importance of carefully following instructions to ensure accurate results.

Consumer Reports warns that home DNA testing may not be as accurate as professional testing because it may not examine all of the genetic markers needed to determine risk.

Anyone who suspects that their results are incorrect should contact a healthcare practitioner for advice.

Who should buy a home DNA test?

Anyone interested in their ancestry may wish to purchase a DNA test. These tests can also provide information about factors that increase the risk of developing certain health problems.

The FDA recommends taking these precautions:

  • contact a healthcare professional to find out which test to choose
  • not making changes to your diet, medications, or lifestyle without contacting a doctor
  • remember that genes are only a factor of health
  • remember that a test result does not guarantee that a person will develop a certain health problem

What are the privacy concerns?

Some companies may not protect an individual’s privacy when dealing with DNA testing. Third parties may have access to personal information and use it for their own purposes.

However, the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act prohibits employers or health insurers from discriminating against a person on the basis of genetic testing.

Home DNA testing can provide information about ancestry and certain genetic factors that make it more likely that specific health problems will develop.

Many types of DNA tests are available for purchase online. Carefully review the company’s privacy policies before making a purchase.


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