Modern technology has made DNA testing available for anyone who wants to learn more about their genetic background. This genetic background can illuminate geographical, cultural, and family history in fascinating ways. The procedure is simple. A person provides a swab from their saliva and mails it to the testing lab. There is no need for a blood test, and there are no painful procedures involved. Within weeks they receive a genetic profile that breaks down their genetic heritage into easy-to-understand charts. Each testing service provides information in different ways. Some focus more on detailed ancestry while others focus on genes and basic genetics. Some tests provide information about degrees of relation to other people.
The popularity of these tests is growing. They have been purchased as birthday presents or for a genealogy hobby. They are a helpful source of information for people who yearn to know more about their heritage.
Family history is part of who we are as individuals. Learning about the past provides the individual with specific information about their ancestry that they might never have learned otherwise. By delving into genetic family groups, an individual can feel the centuries fall away. They can observe their ancestors' migration patterns that brought their family to the present. It can be surprising to learn there was that one ancestor who entered the family long ago and left their genetic mark. Perhaps an entire ethnic line had been completely forgotten. Many spouses discover they have ancient connections. Strangers discover that they are close relatives they never knew they had. Some testing kits go so far as to tell the individual which famous people they are related to. From historical and literary figures to politicians and celebrities, they all have connections to the average person through their genetics.
DNA And Gene Information
Many people have very little idea of who they are or where they came from. These can be individuals who were adopted into a family or those who simply have lost track of one side of the family. DNA testing can answer questions that we all ask at one point or other. Our connection to the past exists whether we know it or not, and learning those connections can be enlightening. Some tests provide detailed information about the maternal and paternal sides of the family. As more people take the tests, more information becomes available for finding those genetic connections. At present, eighteen million people, most of them Americans, have taken these tests.
DNA testing can provide health information that leads to more informed health care. Some diseases are genetic in nature. Recognizing a previously unknown genetic connection can raise awareness of potential health issues. Individuals can reduce or even prevent some health problems when they have the information they need.
Popular DNA Testing Kits
Testing kits can do more than provide genetic data. Some of them are linked to an ancestry service. These are family trees found within paid memberships. These are continually being added to, and the connections that come to light can be absorbing. Some popular DNA testing kits are:
- 23 And Me
- My Heritage DNA
- National Geographic Genographic Project
- Family Tree
- Living DNA