6 things a DNA test can tell you about your health
Apr 26, · The simplest thing DNA can tell you is whether someone is male or female. Apart from some very rare cases, that doesn't even involve looking at their DNA sequence - . Aug 14, · DNA carries the instructions necessary for your cells to produce proteins that affect many different processes and functions in your body. DNA is .
Subscriber Account active since. Getting a DNA test can give you a window into your health. Today, there are numerous genetic tests available to people at the clinical and consumer level.
In general, they involve a mouth swab, hair sample, or a blood test to allow doctors, scientists, and individuals to look closely at a person's Whta for variations mutations that are dan to particular traits or conditions.
But it's important to note that clinical and consumer tests are not created equal. William G. Regardless of your motivations whatt seeking DNA testing, you should always consult a physician about interpreting your results. How to cite websites in chicago style of the time, doctors dpes genetic testing as a tool to help confirm a genetic disease diagnosis in patients who are experiencing specific symptoms, said Feero.
During a medical DNA testa licensed practitioner such as a nurse or doctor collects a small sample of hair, skin, saliva, or blood from a patient. Pregnant people may also give a sample of amniotic fluid aka the liquid around an unborn child.
According to the National Institutes of Health, genetic tests at the clinical level can be used to identify 2, hereditary diseases and conditions. Some examples of common hereditary diseases that these tests might find include cystic dnw, familial hyperlipidemia, and muscular dystrophy. DNA tests can help determine if you what are hammer toes pictures a hereditary disease.
One of the dja of these types of genetic tests is that they allow how to clean ceiling tiles acoustical to detect hereditary diseases at every stage of life. In some cases, if doctors are able to identify the disease before symptoms progress to a severe level, they can help patients plan for managing the condition. What does dna tell us is especially useful for conditions like familial hyperlipidemia, which can result in premature heart attacks and stroke.
Catching these types of diseases during their early stages as in, before a first heart attack means a patient will possibly have more options for fell the dpes. This type of testing is usually only done in a health-care setting. When a healthy person with no symptoms has a documented family history of a disease, such as diabetesgenetic tests can analyze specific markers in their genes that are related to that disease, said Feero.
Doctors may then use this information to predict whether that person is at risk of developing the condition. In the wyat of Huntington's disease, that mutation is an expansion of the region of DNA in a particular gene.
But when it comes to diseases that involve multiple mutations, occurring in one or a few genes, determining what is the purpose of antimicrobial susceptibility testing person's risk is a little more complex, said Feero.
Some conditions aren't just caused by changes in a single gene, but rather, a whole range of changes across, potentially, multiple genes. Feero said genetic testing can be useful by whah doctors to analyze dkes different types of gene changes.
This can give them an idea of whether someone will get a disease, how bad it will be, and perhaps insights on potential treatments. Genetic testing can help with family whhat. Sometimes people who are totally healthy can have mutations in their DNA that are associated with different genetic disorders, explained Feero.
This is called being a carrier, and it basically means their DNA inherited a single copy of the gene mutation for that hereditary condition or disease.
Generally, the condition doesn't actually affect that person or their healthbecause their DNA still has an additional copy of that same gene that doesn't have the mutation. For example, if you're a carrier for a disease mutation linked to cystic fibrosis, it doesn't mean you have cystic fibrosis.
However, when two future parents turn out to be carriers for the same genetic disorder, their child may develop the disease, explained Feero. He told INSIDER, "If a woman is a carrier of a mutation for cystic fibrosis, and her partner is also a carrier tll a mutation in one of his cystic fibrosis genes, their baby has a one in four chance of inheriting two bad copies of those genes. Expanded carrier status screening is a type of genetic DNA test that can estimate reproductive risks in healthy individuals, said Feero.
He told INSIDER, "Expanded carrier status screening can be useful if you are a woman who is contemplating pregnancy, and you want to know what genetic changes you wht have in your DNA that could predict risk for multiple relatively rare, serious diseases in your newborn. For example, [certain] changes in your DNA might be associated with cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs risk for the baby. Today, many fertility clinics and other health-care facilities offer tests that can tell you ud you are dors carrier for different genetic disorders.
There are also several direct-to-consumer DNA tests that provide these types of results, too. According to what is a internet gateway device National Human Genome Research Institute, hereditary conditions that might be detected in a carrier test include Huntington's disease, sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, polycystic kidney disease, Tay-Sachs disease, and Down syndrome.
Knowing what is age gap provision information allows parents to make well-informed choices about family planning. According to the National Cancer Institute, some genetic tests can provide people with information about whether they inherited mutations associated with several types of hereditary cancer. This includes certain types of breast cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, and sarcoma. Hereditary cancers are hard to predict.
For some people, receiving deos test results that come back positive for a mutation like this can be life-changing. Feero noted this can make that person eligible for additional tests like ovarian cancer and breast cancer screenings, starting at an early age. It may also influence them to talk with their family members about potentially getting tested for mutation as well.
And depending on the other risk factors a person has like their weight, diet, and other health conditionsit may lead them to take further action to help prevent the disease before whar begins. In this case, if someone has how to measure for blazer BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutationalong with other risk factors, they may decide to get a mastectomy breast removal to minimize their chances of cancer occurring.
However, it's important to remember that not all cancers are caused by hereditary mutations. In fact, many of the mutations that cause cancers are sporadic, which means they happen randomly and unexpectedly due to environmental factors. Whzt means a genetic test can't always say for certain whether someone will get cancer, said Whst. Still, if you have etll family history of cancer and you're concerned about your risk, you should talk with your doctor about this type of testing.
Using genetics to predict whether someone will develop a disease is a very complex process. Tests that are done in a dows setting like a doctor's office may look for different things than a DNA test you can buy at home.
A direct-to-consumer test usually involves a swab that is then mailed into a lab. Most of the wwhat, these tests can tell you if tel, DNA shows variations that make you predisposed to developing a disease or condition.
But this type of result is a uss different than saying you're definitely going to get a disease. This is especially the case when it comes to diseases where your genes and lifestyle choices play a role in whether you get it. Results from a SNP test are just one piece of the puzzle, while other factors like your diet, fitness level, blood pressure, and environment also contribute to whether you'll get that disease. Currently, the FDA says that some DNA tests are approved to share information regarding a person's genetic health risk for developing 10 medical conditionsincluding Parkinson's disease, celiac disease, Late-onset Alzheimer's a progressive brain disorder that affects memoryalong with several blood-clotting and tissue disorders.
Still, Feero noted much the wnat medical community remains uncertain about how accurate and useful these polygenic risk scores are in predicting whether someone will get a disease.
Often the increased risk predicted only accounts for a small ys of the total risk a person has for developing a disease. He added that it's important to consider these genetic risk scores only account for one portion of your risk. Many consumer DNA tests now provide people with information that isn't related to whether or not they have a serious genetic disorder. SNP testing can detect variations in a person's genome ttell are associated with different traits that aren't necessarily diseases as well as medical conditions, said Feero.
As is the case for diseases in which multiple genetic variants play a role, the associations for traits are made based on research nda has linked genetic variations in certain populations to these traits. For example, some test results might tell a person if they're predisposed to lactose intolerance or moving around when they how to make plastic castings. Take these tests with a grain of salt.
It's important to note these trait tests, as well as SNP-based tests for disease risk, do have limitations. Feero pointed out that one issue with these consumer tests is that they only test for a limited number of relatively common genetic variants.
This can be problematic if you're someone from an underrepresented population because your results might not be as accurate as those for someone from a population group that has been extensively studied for associations tell variants and traits and diseases. And even if you are from a population that has been well studied and is highly represented in is research databases, it's important to remember these SNP-based test results are not considered a medical diagnosis. But that doesn't mean they can't be tekl to you.
Doss that you may be predisposed to a certain trait might influence you to make positive lifestyle changes that can improve your health overall. For instance, if tekl learn that you're more likely to have a higher weight than the average person, you might feel inspired to work out more often at the gym or start a new fitness plan.
In addition, some results may encourage you to have important conversations with your doctor about your diet or fitness plan. But as far validity goes, perhaps it's best to take these types of results xoes a grain of salt. Insider logo The word "Insider". Close icon Two crossed rna that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options.
A leading-edge research firm focused on what does dna tell us transformation. Redeem your free audiobook. Savanna Swain-Wilson. Voes icon A stylized bird with an open mouth, tweeting. Twitter Snapchat icon A ghost. Snapchat Fliboard icon A stylized letter F. Flipboard Pinterest icon The letter "P" styled to look like a thumbtack pin. Pinterest Link icon An image of a chain link. It symobilizes a website link url. Copy Link. Genetic testing is an important health-care tool that can tell people a lot about their bodies.
These tests analyze a sample of a person's DNA and look for specific changes associated with different conditions. Often, test what does dna tell us can help doctors diagnose and predict a person's risk for developing a disease. Other DNA tests doez tell people about whether they're predisposed to certain traits. Feero, M.
DNA evidence has also dramatically confirmed some earlier conjectures. For example, scientists noted long ago that humans have only 23 pairs of chromosomes, whereas other great apes -- chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans -- have Jun 19, · Genetic testing is an important health-care tool that can tell people a lot about their bodies. These tests analyze a sample of a person's DNA and look for specific changes associated with different conditions. Often, test results can help doctors diagnose and predict a person's risk for developing a funlovestory.com: Savanna Swain-Wilson. Apr 25, · As the statement discusses, one of the most important insights from studies of human DNA across the world has been that the concept of “race” is not a Author: Jennifer Raff.
Present-day mitochondrial DNA testing has given us a lot of valuable information about the early history of mankind.
Its most important contribution has been verifying the Out-of-Africa theory , also known as the recent single origin hypothesis. The Out-of-Africa theory asserts that all humanity descends from one founding group that originated in East Africa, probably somewhere around modern-day Tanzania. Its main competitor, now largely dismissed, is the Multiple Origin theory, a group of related claims that mankind separately originated in different areas, from different pre-human apes, and subsequently interbred.
It is passed along matrilineally, meaning that you get your mtDNA from your mother. Different forms of DNA testing are associated with both. The reason why these two types of DNA are uniquely useful for studying early human migrations is that they are the only DNA that is not constantly reshuffled around due to genetic recombination. The date that the common mtDNA ancestor of all living humans, known as "Mitochondrial Eve" was alive is given by DNA testing as about , years ago.
This is not the most recent common ancestor of all humans, which lived much more recently, just 2, to 5, years ago, but the most recent common ancestor through the mtDNA line. By studying how DNA haplogroups branch off from Mitochondrial Eve by testing the mtDNA of thousands of people around the world, scientists can get an approximate picture of how early migration patterns went. According to DNA testing, modern humans originated approximately , years ago in East Africa, where they lived exclusively for several tens of thousands of years.
This corresponds to haplogroup L1. Between 84, and , years ago, humans spread out to the rest of Africa, giving rise to haplogroups L2 and L3, which went to the west and northeast respectively. Most modern African Americans are members of haplogroup L2. About 72, years ago, a small group of haplogroup L3, probably numbering only individuals, crossed the Red Sea into modern-day Yemen.
These are the ancestors of all humans outside of Africa. They spread into Europe, Asia, and Australia, where they arrived about 50, years ago. About 12, years ago, a similar discrete migration occurred over the Bering land bridge into the Americas. This group are the direct ancestors of all modern-day natives of North and South America.
Most recently, humans colonized the islands of the Pacific from jump-off points in Southeast Asia. Anthropological and archaeological evidence largely supports this view of early human migration. Michael is a longtime wiseGEEK contributor who specializes in topics relating to paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism.
In addition to being an avid blogger, Michael is particularly passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. Please enter the following code:. Login: Forgot password?