The Truth about Genetics and Disease: Is it Nature, or Nurture?

The Truth about Genetics and Disease: Is it Nature, or Nurture?

science
The FDA recently approved 23andMe’s genetic test which screens for breast cancer. The move was heralded as a great advancement in the field of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Many people purchased the test, hoping it would reveal whether or not they would get breast cancer. However, in its approval, the FDA also mentioned some serious limitations of the test. For one, it only tests for 3 of thousands of known mutations. If any other spot in the BRCA gene is mutated, the test would show negative when you actually do have a higher risk. But more importantly than that, the BRCA mutations they screen for are “rarely found” in the general population. Even those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, who experience a higher rate of the mutation, only find it in around…
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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 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). [su_row][su_column size="1/2" center="no" class=""] Benefits of MyHeritage Massive European database of documents World’s largest connected family tree See how many living relatives you may have from each region [/su_column] [su_column…
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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! [su_row][su_column size="1/2" center="no" class=""] Benefits of 23andMe  Test a number of different genetic traits Pay one price for the test and all available results…
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Home DNA Paternity Test

Home DNA Paternity Test

Genealogy, science
Can Direct-to-Consumer Genetics Tests Provide Accurate Results? First, How Does Paternity Testing Work? Paternity testing, like other forms of familial testing (sibling, maternal, etc.) is a relatively straightforward practice. Other forms of DNA analysis rely on understanding the genes involved and their relationship with disease. In paternity testing, scientists are simply checking to see if the DNA matches in various locations. In this article we will focus on home DNA paternity tests. To understand how this process can identify someone as a direct family member, you must understand a little bit about genetics. A human starts as two different cells, the sperm and the egg. Inside of these cells is exactly half of the DNA necessary to create a human. Both cells contain 23 chromosomes, or parts of DNA. Half Mom,…
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Autosomal testing vs Mitochondrial testing (mtDNA) vs Y-Chromosome testing

Autosomal testing vs Mitochondrial testing (mtDNA) vs Y-Chromosome testing

Genealogy, science
When going over your options for a direct-to-consumer DNA test, the options can be overwhelming. Between the different companies available, testing methods used, and services provided, it can be hard to choose a company and plan with any confidence. In terms of testing methods alone, there are several approaches different companies take to analyze your genetics. In general, companies tend to analyze up to 3 different parts of your genetic code. The majority of companies test your Autosomal Chromosomes. These chromosomes represent a majority of your DNA. They account for 22 of the 23 chromosomes. The 23 chromosome is your Sex Chromosome, and contains two forms: X and Y. Females have a pair of X chromosomes, while men have an X and a Y. Because the Y is always passed down…
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Genetics Terms: Things to Know about DNA Test Results

Genetics Terms: Things to Know about DNA Test Results

science
Before you order a DNA Test or whole-genome analysis, you should probably beef up on some of those biology terms you have long forgotten. But worry not! This guide will lead you through all the terms you need to understand when getting the results from a direct-to-consumer genetic home test. First Things First, What is DNA?  DNA is shorthand for deoxyribonucleic acid. This molecule holds all of the information your cells need to survive and reproduce. DNA is stored as chromosomes, and humans have 23 unique chromosomes. Each of these chromosomes contains the information necessary to produce various proteins, which work together in immensely complex networks to form a functioning body. On each chromosome, there are multiple genes. Each gene is made of small molecules called nucleotides. There are only…
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Criticism about Home Genetic Testing

Criticism about Home Genetic Testing

Genealogy
As much as direct-to-customer home DNA kits have been sparking interest across the globe, there has been rising criticism about them. The criticism is normally not geared at one individual company (while 23andMe are taking most the heat being the biggest and running into trouble with the FDA in the past) but rather about the concept of offering DNA kits to people and supply information which is either not accurate enough or cannot be used clinically. Everyone loved 23andMe and other home genetic test kits as long as they focused on novelty; when marketing started focusing on personal DNA kits as a diagnostic tool, that's when all hell broke loose. Critical articles about home genetic testing Below you can find the most prominent articles relating to genetic home tests. [su_box style="glass"…
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