Are you being ripped off? Correlation vs. Causation in Genetic Tests

Are you being ripped off? Correlation vs. Causation in Genetic Tests

Genealogy, science
Updated August 18 with information about Microbiome testing. For those of you new to the genetic testing field, you should first have a solid understanding of correlation versus causation. The distinction between these scientific terms can allow you to get the most out of your genetic tests, and truly understand how your genes affect your health and lifestyle. While the two terms are related, the difference between correlation and causation is similar to the difference between an educated guess and knowing the answer outright. Knowing whether a genetic report is based on correlation or causation makes a big difference in how serious you should take the results (or how good is the test kit).   First, let’s get an understanding of what correlation and causation actually are. Correlation A correlation…
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Are Telemore DNA Tests Reliable?

Are Telemore DNA Tests Reliable?

Genealogy, science
What are Telomeres? Telomeres are distinctive structures, regionized in DNA strands which are located at each end. They are caps to prevent the chromosome from deteriorating, somewhat like the plastic shells of a shoelace. They have a repetitive, short DNA sequence and are many kilobases in length. The Telomeres also prevent fusing with neighbouring chromosomes. Telomeres derives from the two Greek words “telos” which means “end” and ”meros” which means “part”. The sequence in human Telomeres is TTAGGG, which is repeated around 2,500 times. There are 194 Telomeres in a human cell, 4 for each of the 46 chromosomes. What are Telomere tests As cells age, its Telomeres gradually become shorter. The average cell will divide around 60 times before it dies. As the cell divides, the Telomeres of course…
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Is your privacy protected when you do a DNA test?

Is your privacy protected when you do a DNA test?

Privacy
You may think that the Privacy Policy of your favorite DNA testing company protects you, your identity, and your personally identifiable information. But, that is simply not the case. Even though most DNA testing companies de-personalize your data, the nature of genetic data itself stores personally-identifiable information. So, just because your name is not on the sample, there are still methods which can be used to identify your genetic code. Further, genetic testing companies are not covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act typically enforces the rule that doctors and health insurance agencies cannot share your personal medical records with first removing all personally identifiable information.  And, while the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) does protect you from being excluded from Medicare based on your…
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DNA Tests for Pets?!

DNA Tests for Pets?!

pets
You’ve likely seen the advertisements for at-home DNA tests from companies like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and a number of other top genetic testing companies. However, did you know that there are also DNA tests available for your pets? This article explores the basics of testing pet DNA. First, we’ll take a look at how it works and what kind of results you can expect. Then, we’ll explore the differences between pet and human DNA testing, the expected costs, and we’ll discuss the value of pet DNA testing overall. Check it out! How Does It Work? Pet DNA tests work just like human DNA tests! The company you order a test from will send you a sample collection kit, which is typically a cheek swab. Swab the inside of your pet’s cheek,…
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DNA Data Testing: How Accurate and Useful?

DNA Data Testing: How Accurate and Useful?

science
DNA testing kits are an amazing piece of technology. Just imagine, in 2003 the Human Genome Project was completed. It took scientists BILLIONS of dollars and an entire DECADE to complete. Today, you can have important pieces of your DNA tested for less than $100, or get your entire genome sequenced for less than $1000. Not only this, but you can get the results from the comfort of your home, after sending in a simple DNA sample from your cheek cells. Companies like 23andMe, Ancestry, and Veritas Genetics have sprung up to bring the power of DNA testing to the masses. These companies offer a number of different tests, ranging from what your genetics can tell you about your genealogy to the various disease risks you may carry due to…
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AncestryDNA Vs. 23andMe: A Comparison

AncestryDNA Vs. 23andMe: A Comparison

Comparisons
When you compare AncestryDNA and 23andMe you will find that the companies are both excellent at what they do. However, they provide slightly different services which are marketed to different types of users. Ancestry focuses on genealogy testing and analysis, which a whole suite of tools for building and researching your family tree. 23andMe combines a simpler version of ancestry testing with genetic health testing to provide a larger set of information from your genetic material. Both companies excel in certain areas, while both companies also have weaknesses. Check out the executive summary of this Ancestry vs. 23andMe comparison here, or read the whole thing below! we also made a similar comparison of Ancestry vs MyHeritage. Company overview and basic data [su_table] 23andMe Ancestry Can be used for Genetic overview…
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AncestryDNA Vs. MyHeritage

AncestryDNA Vs. MyHeritage

Comparisons
AncestryDNA Vs. MyHeritage - Both of these companies started with software to build and maintain family trees. In the late 2010s, both companies expanded into the DNA direct-to-consumer testing market. Ancestry and MyHeritage now both offer genealogy DNA test kits in addition to their family tree subscription services which provide research and documentation of your family history. Both companies focus mainly on recent genealogy, and neither provides mtDNA, Y-DNA, or health-related genetic testing services. Check out the executive summary of this Ancestry vs. MyHeritage comparison here, or read the whole thing below! (we made a similar comparison for 23andMe vs Ancestry here). Company overview and basic data  [su_table] AncestryDNA MyHeritage Can be used for Personal Ancestry Personal Ancestry DNA collection Saliva Collection Cheek Swab Number of SNPs tested 637,639 702,442 DNA sample…
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At-Home DNA Tests: Taking Action on Your Results

At-Home DNA Tests: Taking Action on Your Results

Genealogy
At home DNA tests can provide a large wealth of information about your genetics. Many companies now offer these tests, with a wide variety of results and information being analyzed. Some tests focus solely on ancestry, while others analyze aspects of your genes related to health, disease, fitness, or nutrition. While all of these tests use similar methods of correlating DNA data to various outcomes, not all tests are extremely useful. To get the most out of your DNA test kit, you need to understand what results you are getting, how accurate and predictive those results are, and what you can do in spite of your genetics. Below is a thorough review of many different types of genetic tests, the results you can expect, and what you can do to…
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11 Times DNA Testing Changed Lives

11 Times DNA Testing Changed Lives

Comparisons, Genealogy
When it comes to DNA testing, the results can be life-changing. Millions of people are now getting direct-to-consumer top notch DNA tests, by companies like 23andMe or Ancestry.com and many of them are finding surprises within their genome. Some of these are good surprises, while other times people wish they had never taken the DNA test. Below are some of the most interesting stories to have surfaced. Reader Beware! Not all of these stories have a happy ending….   Woman Finds “Dad” is Not Biological Father https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/an-innocent-dna-test-changed-my-whole-world-20181022-p50b87.html Rose Mayeux took a DNA test to learn more about her Italian heritage. To her surprise, the test came back saying she had no Italian heritage whatsoever. Thinking the results were incorrect, she had her brother take the test. His results came back…
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23andMe Polygenic Risk Scores

23andMe Polygenic Risk Scores

science
When it comes to innovating genetic testing, 23andMe is always at the forefront of science. Not only were they one of the first companies on the genetic testing scene, but they were one of the first to get their breast-cancer screening test approved by the FDA. The company is partially owned by Google Ventures, Google’s start-up investment wing. This gives 23andMe a technological edge over other companies, and they are often the first on the market with a new offering. Recently, 23andMe started offering a polygenic risk score for diabetes, offering another thing to differentiate it in the 23andMe vs Ancestry battle and marking it as a top leader in both ancestry testing and health testing. [su_box title="Recent comment from the UK Health Minister" style="soft" title_color="#262424"]The UK Health Minister has…
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