How Does Genetic Testing Aid Your Medical Analysis?

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Made up of millions of cells, your body has 23 pairs of chromosomes which are made of DNA. This genetic material which makes you Unique can tell a lot about you. Upon providing your saliva samples, genetic testing companies like 23andMe give you your genetic report.

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23andMe offers you a world of genetics! Analyzing the variations at specific positions in your genome- called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). They can give you a report covering your genetic traits (eye/hair color, etc) and your risks for certain health conditions. Their ‘Health + Ancestry‘ service provides all the reports on ancestry-related findings and carrier statuses, health predispositions, wellness, and genetic traits. Carrier status reports, Health predisposition reports, Wellness reports, and  Traits are discussed.

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23andMe’s home-based saliva collection kit makes it the simplest. Once you order their test, you will receive the saliva collection kit within 3-5 days. You have to follow the instructions given in the kit and spit into the tube provided. Register it using the barcode and mail it back to their lab using the pre-paid package. And within a time span of 3-5 weeks, they will contact you via an email and provide your reports. You can just login into your account to discover everything about your DNA.

click here to know how to provide your saliva sample

You get the right to choose how your genetic information can be used and shared with others. 23andMe tells you how your choices can be implemented, how they collect, utilize and disclose your information. They promise the following:

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Depending on the type of services you buy, you will be receiving the reports. If you happen to purchase the Health + Ancestry service, you would be getting all the reports and tools offered in the Ancestry service along with reports on your traits, wellness, carrier status, and health predispositions.

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No, 23andMe reports do not diagnose any diseases or health conditions, nor does it provide any medical advice.

 

Although you will not be receiving a printed copy of your report, your reports available via your account are printable. You just have to log in to your 23andMe account to view your information and print it out, if need be.

Genetic testing has reached a milestone when it comes to pre-screening technology! It gives you tremendous benefits by letting you know the health predispositions that you could pass on to your kids in advance.

click here to read more

While the sample processing is likely to take 3 to 5 weeks (from the time your sample reaches the lab).

click here to read more

Genetic testing can reveal endless possibilities! It can even help individuals conceived via sperm donors trace his/her ancestry and discover their risk of acquiring certain diseases. If you are someone who possesses a strong family history of a certain disease condition, your doctor can shortlist the best test you might need.

click here to read more

Most of the risks associated with genetic testing involve the emotional, financial and/or social consequences of the results. Individuals might end up feeling sad, angry, anxious, frustrated or guilty upon seeing their results. It could also create tension within the family and there’s also a possibility of genetic discrimination.

click here to read more

Upon making the decision to proceed with genetic testing, you can get your doctor, specialist, a medical geneticist or nurse practitioner to order the test. Most genetic tests are performed using your sample of blood, saliva, hair, amniotic fluid, skin or tissue.

click here to read more

The exclusive rights to a gene (the specific sequence of DNA) given by a government to the individual, corporation or organization who claims to have identified the gene for the first time is referred to as a “Gene Patent“.

If a gene receives a patent, the holder of the patent gets to dictate how the gene can be used- in clinical, commercial and non-commercial settings for 20 years from the date of the patent.

The purpose of the test and the recipient of the results account to the main differences between genetic testing done in a research setting and that of a clinical setting.

click here to read more

There are umpteen success stories that we hear every day about someone or the other who have found information about their family using a DNA test. There are an equal amount of stories that claim that these tests can be inaccurate as well. Thus it is necessary to analyze all the myths related to what DNA testing can or cannot offer.

click here to read more

Pros:

  1. Insights offered: You get to discover the coding part of your gene that can be relevant to a particular disease- if it involves interruptions, disruptions, and mutations associated with it.
  2. Less uncertainty: Instead of being worried about a future ailment, getting to know if you do not have a particular mutation, it can help ease your anxiety about your health. Another advantage is that you get to determine who else in your family could be at risk.

click here to read more

Whether the results are positive or otherwise, genetic testing has potential benefits. It can give you a sense of relief from uncertainty and help you make informed decisions about managing your health. While a negative result can eliminate the need for unnecessary checkups and screening tests, a positive result can take you towards preventative measures, monitoring and treatment aspects. It can help you make decisions about starting a family too.

MyHeritage DNA is all about your genealogy. It helps you discover your lineage, your blood relatives, ethnicity and your unknown relatives. The Lineage testing can trace your ancestry back to real existing individuals who possess that particular DNA type throughout the prehistoric period until the present.

It can range from Under $100 to more than $2000 depending on its complexity. If it involves more than one test or multiple family members, extra cost might be required. Newborn screening might cost between $15 and $60 per infant.

click here to know more

Yes, it is a prerequisite that you must be 18 years of age or older in order to agree to the company’s Terms of services (TOS) on behalf of yourself or whomsoever you have the legal authority to agree. You have to represent that you are 18 years of age or older while providing a saliva sample or to access your genetic information.

Yes, 23andMe analyzes the variations at specific positions in your genome- Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and has the potential to give you all the information about your ancestry. You get to choose the specific type of DNA to learn about how your DNA is used in their ancestry reports. They are as follows:

  1. Autosomal DNA
  2. X Chromosome
  3. Y Chromosome
  4. Mitochondrial DNA

click here to read more

Does 23andMe diagnose any disease?

No, 23andMe reports do not diagnose any diseases or health conditions, nor does it provide any medical advice.

Carrier status report

This report will tell you if you possess any specific genetic variants that you could pass over to your kids.

Also, Carrier Status Reports are not intended to diagnose a disease or predicting your future risk of acquiring a disease.

Each of these reports is the most relevant for individuals of certain ethnicities.

Most importantly, this report is not intended to predict anything regarding the health of your fetus or newborn’s risk of developing certain diseases later.

Health predisposition report

This tells you if you possess genetic variants that might increase your risk of developing certain health conditions.

But it is important to ensure that these reports do not cover all the possible genetic variants and that there could be other factors (lifestyle and environment) that could also influence your risk to these health conditions.

Wellness report

This link your DNA and traits that are related to healthy living.

Trait report

This link your DNA and your features and characteristics and while it can predict your chances of possessing a trait, it is important to note that there can be numerous other factors that can influence your actual traits.

 

Will you receive a printed (hard) copy of my results?

Although you will not be receiving a printed copy of your report, your reports available via your account are printable. You just have to log in to your 23andMe account to view your information and print it out, if need be.

 

What disease does 23andMe test for?

The 23andMe genetic testing finds out if you possess risks for the following diseases and health conditions:

Age-related Macular degenerationAutismDepressionHemophiliaParkinson's disease
Alopecia areataBeta thalassemiaEpilepsyHypertensionPsoriasis
Alzheimer's diseaseBloom's syndromeFamilial HypercholesterolemiaHypertriglyceridemiaRheumatoid arthritis
AmyloidosisBone Mineral DensityFractureHypothyroidismSchizophrenia
AnemiaCardiomyopathyGallstone diseaseMigraineScoliosis
AnorexiaChronic kidney diseaseGlaucomaMultiple sclerosisStroke
AnxietyCon-rod dystrophyGlycogen storage diseasesNon-alcoholic Fatty liver diseaseThrombosis
AsthmaCOPDGoutObesityType 2 Diabetes
Atopic dermatitisCrohn's DiseaseHeart diseases (coronary heart disease, Myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and heart attack)OsteoarthritisUlcerative Colitis
Atrial fibrillationCystic fibrosisHemochromatosisOsteoporosisVitiligo

 

Is genetic testing a good idea?

Genetic testing has reached a milestone when it comes to pre-screening technology!

It gives you tremendous benefits by letting you know the health predispositions that you could pass on to your kids in advance.

Imagine how you could design a diet and fitness regimen to maintain good health or to prevent certain cancers!

Healthcare professionals are finding genetic testing to be extremely beneficial and their studies on it are transforming how they prescribe various treatment aspects.

When one comes to know that they are at risk for certain diseases or health conditions, they get to make preventative actions in order to stave them off.

For instance, if the report predicts the risk of Alzheimer’s, the person can take preventative actions such as doing activities that help boost their memory and can stand a chance to prevent the disease.

Genetic testing reveals endless possibilities about you- your traits toward going bald to finding out if you have inherited the genetic tendencies from your grandfather who was an Olympic swimmer.  However, you cannot expect a 100% accuracy in results. You could still acquire a disease if you have certain genetic markers.

Currently, there are over 70000 genetic testing products available in the U.S. markets and has evolved to be a big business and is going towards making an even bigger impact on healthcare.

Not only is genetic testing interesting or informative, but can also be life-saving!

You might also like: How genetic report from 23andMe Raw data can help you improve your health

 

Which is the best genetic test?

 

Some of the best genetic testing companies are:
AncestryDNAPopular Genetic testing company for cousin matching; covers most geographic regions of ethnicity
FamilyTree DNAGenetic testing for serious genealogy that offers YDNA and mtDNA test that help you discover ethnic percentages, origins, and complete ancestry information
MyHeritageBudget-friendly autosomal test that helps you discover your family history
23andMeOffers more than 125 personalized reports that help you discover your ancestry, health, traits and more
23andMeScreening for roots in the British Isles

 

How long does it take to get my 23andMe results?

While the sample processing is likely to take 3 to 5 weeks (from the time your sample reaches the lab).

You can find the status of your sample by logging in to your 23andMe account. The lab will report your data once the processing gets completed. Your results will then be computed and made available on your account.

You will be receiving emails that will notify you about the following processing milestones:

  • Time of receiving your sample at the lab
  • If there’s any analysis failure due to any faults in the sample like an insufficient DNA or a low call rate
  • Time of availability of your results that can be viewed from your account.

 

What can genetic testing reveal?

Genetic testing can reveal endless possibilities!

It can even help individuals conceived via sperm donors trace his/her ancestry and discover their risk of acquiring certain diseases.

If you are someone who possesses a strong family history of a certain disease condition, your doctor can shortlist the best test you might need.

Not only does genetic testing help you discover if you’re at risk of any disease but also guide towards what needs to be done.

You can discover your DNA relatives that you never knew before. These genetic testing companies offer a social media platform that helps you connect with your relatives. This can be beneficial for adoptees, donor0received children and people who hope to find their unknown relatives.  

 

What are the risks and limitations of genetic testing?

Most of the risks associated with genetic testing involve the emotional, financial and/or social consequences of the results.

Individuals might end up feeling sad, angry, anxious, frustrated or guilty upon seeing their results. It could also create tension within the family and there’s also a possibility of genetic discrimination.

When it comes to an inherited condition, Genetic testing can only offer limited information. It also fails to determine if one will exhibit symptoms of a disorder, about the severity of it and whether or not if the disease/health condition might progress over time.

One major limitation of genetic testing is the lack of treatment strategies after being diagnosed with a genetic disorder.

However, a genetics professional will be able to explain all the benefits, risks and limitations involved with a particular test you might be willing to take.

It is important that anyone who is considering genetic testing understand and weigh these factors before going for one.

 

How is genetic testing done?

Upon making the decision to proceed with genetic testing, you can get your doctor, specialist, a medical geneticist or nurse practitioner to order the test.

Most genetic tests are performed using your sample of blood, saliva, hair, amniotic fluid, skin or tissue.

The sample is then sent to the lab where trained technicians find out if there are any specific changes in the DNA, chromosomes or proteins, based on the suspected disease/health condition.

They then report the test results directly to the patient (if requested) or the doctor, specialist or genetic counselor who ordered the test.

Prior to undergoing a genetic test, it is important that a person understands the testing procedure, the pros & cons and the possible consequences of the results.  

 

Can genes be patented?

The exclusive rights to a gene (the specific sequence of DNA) given by a government to the individual, corporation or organization who claims to have identified the gene for the first time is referred to as a “Gene Patent“.

If a gene receives a patent, the holder of the patent gets to dictate how the gene can be used- in clinical, commercial and non-commercial settings for 20 years from the date of the patent.

 

How is genetic testing in a research setting different from clinical genetic testing?

The purpose of the test and the recipient of the results account to the main differences between genetic testing done in a research setting and that of a clinical setting.

While the genetic testing done for the clinical scenario is aimed at finding of an inherited disorder in a family or by an individual, that done as a part of a research study are usually not available to patients or their doctors.

It is important for individuals considering genetic testing to know if the test is available on research or clinical basis. Both of these types of genetic testing involves a process of informed consent.

 

How accurate are DNA tests?

There are umpteen success stories that we hear every day about someone or the other who have found information about their family using a DNA test. There are an equal amount of stories that claim that these tests can be inaccurate as well.

Thus, it is necessary to analyze all the myths related to what DNA testing can or cannot offer.

  • You only need one kind of DNA test

No, in reality, there are three kinds of them that can help you discover your family history. They are:

  1. Autosomal DNA (Can reveal your ethnicities and connect you to your living cousins)
  2. Y-DNA (Can answer all your questions about your family history- up to at least 10 generations!)
  3. mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA which can be used to trace a direct maternal line)

Depending on what your research goal is, you can make use of all these 3 kinds of DNA tests.

  • DNA samples can be from stamps or hair samples

There is DNA on licked stamps, envelopes, used razors and in the root of your hair.

Although it can be a tricky process to extract and an expensive process to process, it is entirely possible.

  • DNA tests can pinpoint locations where your ancestors lived or belonged

Though your DNA test might give you insights into where your ancestors might have lived or belonged to, it is quite unlikely to significantly impact your genealogy.

  • The ancestral DNA tests being 99% accurate

While autosomal DNA test results can be very good at determining immediate relationships, you will need to make a further interpretation of other tests and relationships prior to making any solid conclusions.

  • You can find out your great-great-grandparents if you take a DNA test

Indeed, you can discover your 2X great-grandparents.

However, it might take a significant amount of genealogy research.

What are the pros and cons of genetic testing?

 

Pros:

  1. Insights offered: You get to discover the coding part of your gene that can be relevant to a particular disease- if it involves interruptions, disruptions, and mutations associated with it.
  2. Less uncertainty: Instead of being worried about a future ailment, getting to know if you do not have a particular mutation, it can help ease your anxiety about your health. Another advantage is that you get to determine who else in your family could be at risk.
  3. You can take preventative measures: When you have a clearer portrait of your risks, you can make healthy lifestyle shifts and also encourage your family members to get tested.
  4. Discrimination is protected: Your results will appear on your medical record only. Also, your employers will be prohibited to use your data to hire, fire or promote, according to several anti-discrimination laws.  And insurance companies cannot use your data to state it as a pre-existing condition.

Cons:

  1. Genetic testing can be really expensive
  2. the results might trigger emotions-  you could get sad, angry, anxious, angry or guilty.
  3. It isn’t a full-body review: It can be a target only towards a specific disease or health condition and the patient might miss out on getting tested for a different condition.

 

What are the benefits of genetic testing?

Whether the results are positive or otherwise, genetic testing has potential benefits.

It can give you a sense of relief from uncertainty and help you make informed decisions about managing your health.

While a negative result can eliminate the need for unnecessary checkups and screening tests, a positive result can take you towards preventative measures, monitoring and treatment aspects.

It can help you make decisions about starting a family too.

 

What kind of DNA test does MyHeritage use?

MyHeritage DNA is all about your genealogy.

It helps you discover your lineage, your blood relatives, ethnicity and your unknown relatives.

The Lineage testing can trace your ancestry back to real existing individuals who possess that particular DNA type throughout the prehistoric period until the present.

 

How expensive is Genetic testing?

It can range from Under $100 to more than $2000 depending on its complexity.

If it involves more than one test or multiple family members, an extra cost might be required.

Newborn screening might cost between $15 and $60 per infant.

 

 

Click here to know about Xcode life’s FTDNA, AncestryDNA, and 23andme DNA raw data interpretation and analysis cost.

 

Should you be 18 to do 23andMe?

Yes, it is a prerequisite that you must be 18 years of age or older in order to agree to the company’s Terms of services (TOS) on behalf of yourself or whomsoever you have the legal authority to agree.

You have to represent that you are 18 years of age or older while providing a saliva sample or to access your genetic information.

 

Does 23andMe tell your ethnicity?

Yes, 23andMe analyzes the variations at specific positions in your genome.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and has the potential to give you all the information about your ancestry.

You get to choose the specific type of DNA to learn about how your DNA is used in their ancestry reports. They are as follows:

  1. Autosomal DNA
  2. X Chromosome
  3. Y Chromosome
  4. Mitochondrial DNA

Ancestry Composition report uses DNA you inherited from both sides of your family and informs the proportion of your DNA that comes from genetic populations worldwide.

Haplogroup reports tell you about the ancient origins of your patrilineal ancestors and matrilineal ones.

Neanderthal Ancestry report tells you if parts of your DNA can be traced back to Neanderthals (ancient humans that interbred with modern ones before becoming extinct 40000 years ago).

Your DNA family report gives you all the information about the diverse group of 23andMe customers who have DNA in common with you and help you trace all your DNA relatives around the world.

 

Which are the best DNA tests of 2019?

The following are the best DNA kits:

23andMeOffers a trove of information about your personal genetics, your deeper ancestry, genetic health risks and carrier statuses for diseases and/or health conditions
AncestryDNAAn easy-to-use tool that helps you explore your ancestry family tree. You can even find your relatives among the previously collected profiles
Living DNAan affordable testing kit that can track your ancestry back to thousands of years
HomeDNAoffers a detailed and closer look at your ancestor's migration patterns
National Geographic Genographic ProjectThis Anthropologically fascinating project tracks your ancestor's migration patterns to 200000 years back
MyHeritage DNAOffers family tree software and research resources and helps you interpret how your ancestors lived

Xcode Life accepts DNA raw data from all the ancestry test providers listed above and several more.

 

Click here to find out the complete list.

 

Xcode Life covers more than 50 traits in Gene Nutrition and Gene Fitness Reports. Personalized reports on health, skin, allergies and precision medicine are generated from the DNA raw data.

More than 500 genetic variants are analyzed for the diet and fitness modules.

Our expert-curated topical reports are based on publicly available literature from a range of resources from leading scientific journals.

 

You might also be interested: Best Ancestry DNA Test of 2018

 

What does your DNA say about your health?

Made up of millions of cells, your body has 23 pairs of chromosomes which are made of DNA.

This genetic material which makes you unique can tell a lot about you.

Upon providing your saliva samples, genetic testing companies like 23andMe give you your genetic report.

They perform an analysis of your DNA (meeting CLIA standards) to find out your ancestry, genetic traits, risks for certain diseases.

It can also tell you how your body might respond to certain treatment, whether you have any nutritional deficiencies and also if you have any sensitivities.

 

Health-relative information that you can learn from 23andMe

23andMe offers you a world of genetics!

Analyzing the variations at specific positions in your genome- called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms).

They can give you a report covering your genetic traits (eye, hair color, etc) and your risks for certain health conditions.

 

Their ‘Health + Ancestry‘ service provides all the reports on ancestry-related findings and carrier status, health predispositions, wellness, and genetic traits.

 

Carrier status reports

Tells you about variants that may not affect your health but could possibly affect the health of your future family.

If you are reported to be a carrier for a particular condition, although you typically do not have the genetic condition, you are likely to pass it down to your kids.

You can work towards preparing for your future family’s health when you understand your carrier status.

Health predisposition reports

Tells you how your genetic makeup can influence the chances of acquiring certain diseases. You can learn if you possess genetic variants linked to a high risk of developing certain health conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, etc.

If your reports say you have a particular variant, it doesn’t necessarily imply that you will develop the condition but that you are a risk of developing it. Non-genetic factors like lifestyle and environment can also influence the risk of those diseases.

Wellness reports

This helps you make more informed choices related to healthy living. You can find out if your DNA influences your muscle type, caffeine consumption, lactose intolerance, etc.

Traits

The traits report helps you explore how your DNA makes you unique by emphasizing all your traits- from physical features to your food preferences.

 

How does it work?

23andMe’s home-based saliva collection kit makes it the simplest.

Once you order their test, you will receive the saliva collection kit within 3-5 days.

You have to follow the instructions given in the kit and spit into the tube provided.

Register it using the barcode and mail it back to their lab using the pre-paid package. And within a time span of 3-5 weeks, they will contact you via an email and provide your reports.

You can just login into your account to discover everything about your DNA.

Providing your saliva sample

23andMe’s saliva collection kits are easy to use and contain detailed instructions in every kit. It permits samples given even under varying health circumstances such as pregnancy, flu, acid reflux, etc.

But, if you are undergoing medical treatment like chemotherapy that reduces your WBC count, it is best to wait until a couple of weeks after your last treatment.

 

Once it is mixed with the DNA stabilization buffer liquid, your saliva sample gets stable even at a wide range of temperatures (-4ºF to 122ºF). It is recommended that your sample gets shipped to the laboratory at the earliest.

The kit provides a set of instructions that you need to follow strictly during the collection and shipping processes.

 

You might also like: 23andMeRaw data analysis interpretation

 

How is your privacy protected?

You get the right to choose how your genetic information can be used and shared with others. 23andMe tells you how your choices can be implemented, how they collect, utilize and disclose your information.

They promise the following:

  • Not sharing your personal-level data with any third party without your explicit consent.
  • Supporting the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and other similar laws protecting individuals from discriminations based on their genetics, your information or results to employers or health insurance companies will not be provided.
  • Protection of the personal information of your children and incapacitated or deceased individuals in your family.
  • Not providing information to law enforcement unless there is a need to comply with a court-requested order.

What will I receive at the end of the service and how can I see the list of currently available reports?

Depending on the type of services you buy, you will be receiving the reports.

If you happen to purchase the Health + Ancestry service, you would be getting all the reports and tools offered in the Ancestry service along with reports on your traits, wellness, carrier status, and health predispositions.

Regardless of the service you purchase, you just need one kit for a single person. If you buy only the Ancestry service, you have the option of adding the other reports whenever you want, by just paying an additional fee.

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