What Is A DNA Test?
A DNA test, or a genetic test, is a medical test that evaluates your genetic code and identifies any abnormal changes (mutations) in your genes, chromosomes, and proteins.
These mutations indicate you have a condition or are at risk of developing one during your lifetime.
A DNA test also helps determine how likely you are to pass a genetic disorder to your offspring.
Since DNA in an individual is inherited from both parents, a DNA test can help determine the paternity or maternity of an individual.
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How Long Does A DNA Test Take?
The time taken for DNA test results to arrive varies, depending upon why they are done and the laboratory.
DNA Paternity Tests
DNA paternity tests can take between two to ten days from the receipt of the sample in the laboratory.
Court-ordered DNA Tests
Most court-ordered DNA test results take two to ten days or a week or two to arrive.
The court conducts detailed checks about other documentation and maintains privacy throughout the procedure.
DNA Tests For Genetic Diagnosis
DNA tests for genetic disorder diagnosis are performed using blood or saliva samples.
The results of these tests usually arrive in a few weeks.
Direct-to-consumer DNA Tests
DNA testing is usually recommended and done through physicians, nurse practitioners, or genetic counselors.
However, with direct-to-consumer DNA Tests, you can now opt to undergo a DNA test by purchasing a kit.
Once you purchase the DNA testing kit, you take a DNA sample from a cheek swab and send it to the laboratory.
Direct-to-consumer genetic testing may take slightly longer than a prescribed laboratory test.
It may take a few weeks from sending the sample until you get your results.
You will be notified when your results are available online.
DNA Raw Data Analysis Services
While most DNA or genetic tests assess the data and give you various reports and analyses, you can also download the raw data online.
Raw DNA data is the genotype that includes the various genetic codes in your DNA.
Interpreting raw data is challenging.
Several online tools and applications can help analyze your DNA raw data.
However, you must consult a genetic counselor before reaching any conclusion about your condition, your risk for disease, maternity, paternity, or ancestry.
Once you upload your DNA raw data on one of these tools, you may get your results as early as 24 hours.
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Whole-genome Sequencing Tests
It takes around two to three weeks to extract DNA from the sample sent and up to eight and nine weeks for the DNA sequencing results to arrive.
How Long Does An Ancestry DNA Test Take?
Ancestry DNA testing is a type of DNA test that allows people to learn more about their family history and give an idea about their ancestors.
The test evaluates certain patterns of genetic variations shared by people from common backgrounds.
The results of the ancestry test can take around six to eight weeks from the time the lab receives the DNA sample.
3 Things to Know Before Taking A DNA Test
Most people who opt for a DNA test to know more about their health and family history presume it is a tell-all.
Here are three things to know before you take a DNA test:
- Results can vary
The results vary between home DNA test kits and those performed at laboratories.
Granular information about the ethnicity percentage may be different based on the brand of the test.
- You won’t get the entire story
If you took or are taking a DNA test presuming you’ll decode all genetic secrets in your chromosomes, it may not happen.
Owing to the cost of DNA genome sequencing and technology, there is still some time before you know all the secrets of your genetic code.
- Be ready for surprises
DNA tests can spill out surprises, many of which you may not be ready for.
From finding an unknown biological parent to half-siblings, DNA tests can reveal plenty of information.
Summary: How Long Does A DNA Test Take?
- A DNA test identifies your genetic code and identifies any mutations or chromosomal and protein abnormalities in your genes.
- A DNA test is useful in predicting your risk for certain diseases and if you are likely to pass this risk to your children.
- A DNA test is also used to determine paternity, sometimes ordered by a court in legal cases.
- DNA test results can take anything from three days to several weeks to arrive, depending upon the type of test.
- When getting a DNA test, you must remember that results can vary; it is not possible to get the entire story.