When planning to do DNA testing or buy a home DNA test, there are a lot of things to consider and choosing the right option can be a little difficult. A DNA test can be performed for a number of different reasons.
It’s important to consider the ramifications that the results can have on you and others in your family when performing the test, and know why you want the test done. Once you have thought about what the test means, it can be a little easier to find a DNA testing center that will accommodate your needs.
1. Not All DNA Tests Are the Same
Not all tests are the same, nor are they going to reveal the same information. In order to choose the right testing center, make sure you know what you are hoping to seek out.
Pinpoint any specific DNA you are the most interested in. Are you interested in learning more about your ethnicity or ancestry? Are you trying to find relatives, or do you want to know more about identifying any specific genetic disorders?
2. Sample Collection Methods
Since not all DNA tests are the same, there are different ways to test. Most DNA tests use DNA samples from your mouth, such as a DNA swap that collects cells from inside the check.
There are also spit tubes to collect saliva. Depending on the method you want to or need to test, you will have to find a testing center that can accommodate your needs. Usually, blood testing is no longer required to determine DNA results.
3. Types of DNA Testing
Ancestry DNA tests will test your 23 sets of chromosomes and offer a basic report of ethnicity and origin. Some of the tests may be able to reveal health traits to specific regions. A paternity test is commonly done to determine paternity and a family relationship.
These tests work by determining the probability of paternity by looking at if certain DNA markers match. Genomic tests are used to diagnose rare genetic disorders and can also be used to identify any risks of health problems, so individuals can choose appropriate treatments.
A healthcare provider may be able to provide some information about testing centers that can perform genomic tests, if that is the reason for wanting to do the testing.
4. Financial Cost
DNA test costs can vary widely and, in order for your results to be valid, you want to make sure the company and testing center is certified. If you are just doing a test for personal reasons and not for legal reasons, you still want the results to be accurate.
5. Customer Service
It’s important to look closely at the ability of the company to provide customer service. They should have contact information available, so you can get your questions answered before you order a test and throughout the process.
With so many companies in the industry, it can be difficult to find one that will provide adequate customer service without doing some research. A center with good customer service can also help you determine the legality behind the test, and if they are using certified facilities.