International Biosciences is a DNA testing company based out of the United Kingdom. The company opened in 2005, providing some of the first at-home paternity tests to Europe. The company has since expanded into a number of other areas, including genetic health screenings, clinical tests, genetic lifestyle analysis, and even dog DNA analysis. The company has over 30 different genetic tests, required for a wide variety of situations. These offerings from International Biosciences are reviewed below!
International Biosciences overview and basic data
|Can be used for||Paternity/Relationship Testing
Dog DNA TestsAncestry, Maternal, and Paternal Haplotype Analysis
|DNA collection||Depends on tests, buccal swab to a blood draw|
|Number of SNPs tested||Varies depending on test/procedure ordered|
|DNA sample stored||No, destroyed upon test completion
But, have DNA Banking option for $150 for 15 years
|Price||Ranging, from $60 – $500|
|Platform matching for family||No|
|Geographical analysis of ancestry||Yes|
|Special Features||Wide variety of tests, from skin care to dog allergies. Instead of creating one product which works for most consumers, this company seeks to fill the needs of those who need specialized tests for a number of applications.|
|Number of users||Unknown, for ancestry purposes pulls from database of 10,000 people from 500 regions.|
|Ownership||Privately owned in the United Kingdom|
|Address||Genesis Center B
3655 Research Drive
USA (US Lab)
|Client Reviews||30+ Reviews on Trustpilot rate at 4 of 5 stars|
Company background for International Biosciences
International Biosciences was founded in 2005 as one of the first companies to market and sell genetic testing services. In 2009, the company offered the first over-the-counter paternity test kits. This first in the UK was met with some outrage and skepticism. However, the company has greatly expanded its product offerings over the last 10 years, and now offers a wide variety of genetic testing services.
International Biosciences Offerings Review
International Biosciences offers over 30 different DNA testing options. With everything from paternity testing, to genetic health screening, to dog DNA testing, the company seems to have something for everyone. Below is a full look at their offerings, which are not made clear on their home page. If you want to see their full offerings, check out their DNA Tests page. For a faster rundown of each test and its price, keep reading.
Besides direct paternity testing, the company offers a wide variety of test to determine relationship status between two or more samples. These tests are listed below, for brevity.
• Sibling DNA Test – prove a relationship between siblings – $255
• Twin Zygosity DNA Test – test whether twins are identical or fraternal – $155
• Grandparents DNA Test – prove grandparents are related to a child – $320
• Avuncular DNA Test – prove aunts or uncles are related to a child – $255
• Y-Chromosome Test – see if two males share the same paternal line – $255
• Genetic Reconstruction Test – test multiple family members to prove paternity, if the father is missing or dead – $385
• Maternity DNA Test – see if two people have the same maternal DNA – $130
• Mitochondrial DNA Test – see if two people share the same maternal haplotype – $385
International Biosciences also offers a number of prenatal DNA tests, which can give you insights into your unborn child’s genetics. These tests are conducted non-invasively, as the scientists are able to recreate the fetal genome from fragments in the blood. The results provided are not diagnostic but may be able to provide users with some insight into their child’s genetics.
There are three basic tests provided. The Advanced Baby Gender DNA Test is for those parents who cannot wait for a confirmatory ultrasound to find out their baby’s gender. This test is available once a pregnancy is at or beyond 6 weeks, and costs $280. The Prenatal Paternity Test can provide answers on who is the father of your baby, testing your sample, your baby through your blood, and both possible fathers. It costs around $1,200 for all of this DNA to be analyzed.
Finally, the Prenatal Screening for Chromosomal Abnormalities costs around $490. The results from this test provide information about your baby, including the gender and any chromosomes which have been duplicated or deleted. This panel will test for a number of known conditions and report if your baby expresses these genetic patterns. These include genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, and others which have a clear genetic basis.
The company stresses that none of these tests are a diagnosis, and that a doctor should review your results with you. Some of the results may contain serious implications for you and the baby.
In addition to the many family-relationship tests the company provides, they also provide several services to help you better understand your family’s roots. The company offers 4 different ancestry-related tests, with varying scopes of specificity
The GPS Origins Ancestry DNA Test compares your DNA to a database of 10,000 individuals from over 500 regions. This test supposedly captures your ancestry in the past 5-10 generations and can give you detailed information on how they migrated and what populations they belonged to. The PDF report also details historically significant happenings, providing context for the populations your ancestors belonged to. This test is $230.
The second ancestry offering is the Ancestral Origins DNA Test, for $190. The company probably could not have found a more confusing name, because this test gives you a printable map with areas where your deeper ancestors likely originated from. This map and report break down where your family likely came from. For an additional $40, the company will add percentage breakdowns of various regions for you. And, for a 15-minute consultation about your results, you can pay another $95.
The company also offers maternal and paternal haplotype analysis, which will provide an even deeper look at your history, back to the time humans first emerged from Africa. These tests are $180 for the paternal line test and $205 for the maternal line testing. Your PDF reports will contain maps and historical data related to how your ancestors migrated.
Health & Wellbeing Tests
International Biosciences currently offers two tests for health-related genetic analysis. The first is the SkinCareDNA Test, which can give you insights into how your genetics may affect the health and appearance of your skin. The PDF report will also come with (sometimes personalized) recommendations on how to care for your skin. This test is $180.
The DNA Diet and Healthy Weight Test is $150, and covers topics like nutrition, genetic weight, and how your body may process certain vitamins and minerals. The 70-page report gives healthy recommendations for staying fit, tailored to your genetic profile.
All clinical tests come with a warning about having a doctor interpret your results. These tests are intended to help a doctor diagnose a condition you may have. The Genetic Predisposition Tests are geared at determining which genetic variants you carry which may increase your risk for certain conditions, such as diabetes. These tests are around $255.
The Lactose Intolerance DNA Test, at $150, will tell you if your genes for processing the sugar lactose are functioning or not. If not, lactose may cause you significant indigestion. This test can help a doctor or nutritionist diagnose lactose intolerance. The company is also developing a Cancer Panel, which will help determine your genetic risk for certain types of cancer.
Animal DNA Tests
A particularly unique set of offerings from International Biosciences are their Animal DNA Tests. These tests are intended for dogs mostly, though there is a test for Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (a genetic condition carried by some cats) for $65. The DNA My Dog Canine Genetic Age Test and Breed DNA Test are both around $75. These tests can tell you about which breeds contributed to your dog’s genetics and how your dog’s genes affect their estimated age
The DNA Dog Parentage Test is like a paternity test for dogs and can determine maternal and paternal lines. This test is $165, but could possibly be used to prove a pedigree or establish which neighbor needs to fix their fence. The Dog Inherited Disease & Trait Test is only $60 and has information on health traits and characteristics of your dog which are determined at least in part genetically. The Wisdom Panel 2.0 Dog Breed Identification Test is a combination of breed testing and disease analysis. The report will give you insights into your dog’s health, as well as their disposition based on their breed analysis. This analysis and report are $90.
Other Tests and Services
Just when you thought they could have nothing left to offer, International Biosciences surprises again. The company also offers a number of tests supposedly for identifying if your spouse or loved one is cheating on you. Their Infidelity DNA Test, for a mere $475, will analyze a “sample” such as a pair of dirty underwear or a cigarette butt for the presence of DNA and match it to another sample. While the potential applications of this suited for a bad romance novel, there may be some practical use.
For those who simply want to know if there is semen in a sample, the company will test for the presence of semen for $115. Maybe this alone is enough to prove infidelity, though these results will likely never be held up in court. If a crime has been committed, the evidence must be logged through the authorities to be valid.
The company also offers Home DNA Banking, a cheap, $30 method of storing a sample of your DNA for up to 15 years. They can also provide you with a personal Identification Profiling for $130, covering the CODIS markers used internationally to identify people. And last, but certainly not least, is a test which will show whether your dog is allergic to a number of substances, based on proteins in your mouth. This Dog Allergy Test is $130.
What separates International Biosciences from other companies in that regard?
Many testing companies offer a one-size-fits-all approach to their offerings. You won’t find this at International Biosciences. This company has a wide range of offerings, unheard of at most DNA testing companies. This is even reflected in their website, which can at times be hard to navigate due to the large variety of tests the company conducts. Here, you can find tests for paternity, prenatal tests, ancestry, health, and even tests for your dog.
How it works, what will your kit include?
Depending on the test you order, the kit you receive can be slightly different. Most kits contain a buccal swab, which you simply swipe along the inside of your cheek. Other kits contain equipment for a blood draw, such as the non-invasive prenatal tests. These kits must be handled and filled by a professional, who must also sign off on the paperwork provided.
Once your mail your kit back, the results can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Each test has a different length of time, based on how detailed and complex the analysis is. When the lab has finished your test they will email you the results, and destroy your sample. The results are in the form of a personalized PDF, with information about whatever test you ordered. Keep reading for a more detailed look at the results from each type of test.
Understanding the results
The company does not have an online platform to view results, and instead provides them in the form of PDF documents. These files may be many pages long, up to 70 or more in some cases. Below are examples of each type of result file, and what they contain.
These results are provided via confidential PDF directly to your email. The report will detail the samples analyzed, as well as the sequence detected at 21 markers. Depending on how many of these markers match between the two samples, the report can determine whether the samples are related or not.
The results of prenatal testing can tell you the gender of the baby, as well as if the baby has any chromosome abnormalities. These chromosome replications or deletions can be the basis of genetic disorders, and the report you receive will detail if any of these anomalies were detected. These results should absolutely be discussed with your doctor, as they may have serious health implications for you and your baby.
The ancestry report will give various details on your family history, in different timelines. The GPS Origins Ancestry DNA Test is aimed at your recent family migrations and history. The Ancestral Origins Test will report on your deep history, as seen in this example provided by the company. The maternal and paternal haplotype reports will contain similar information, based only on mtDNA or Y-DNA.
Health & Wellbeing
The health and wellbeing analysis from International Biosciences will come to you in the form of a multipage report. The SkinCareDNA Test Report details many aspects of your skin which may be genetically determined, and what products you can use to combat these potentially negative effects. The report is around 10 pages, with several factors considered.
The Healthy Weight DNA Analysis Report is even longer, at roughly 50 pages. Here, you will find information about how your genes may predispose you to certain weight gain or vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. The report also gives tips about where to find the nutrients you need, or how to optimize your exercise.
These reports are intended to be reviewed with your doctor, as they contain complex medical information that may affect your diagnosis or treatment options. The Genetic Predisposition Report contains a variety of information about how your genetics may impact your health or predispose you to certain conditions like diabetes or certain cancers.
The animal testing results will come in the same well-formatted PDFs as your results, but they will detail different things based on the test you ordered. The Wisdom Panel Results give a good idea of what you will receive. The results can show a wide variety of information, from gene variants your dog carries which may help cause a disease to a small Ancestry Tree on how your dog was created from different breeds interacting.
Other Test Results
All other test results will come in a similar fashion and will detail various aspects of your genetics. Or, in the case of the Dog Allergy Panel, what your dog is allergic to. Though International Biosciences does offer an enormous range of genetic analysis, it is important to discuss most of their findings with a professional. Some associations and increased risks are not well established or supported, while others are. A professional can help you take appropriate action on your results, whatever they may be.
Will your data be shared?
According to the company’s Terms and Conditions, your DNA sample and resulting data will be destroyed upon completion of the contracted service. Unless in the case of a court-ordered test, the company does not sell or provide this data to any other parties. The company does not mention aggregate data, which is depersonalized.
Media coverage and user opinions
International Biosciences has surprisingly little coverage since its inception in 2005. In 2008 and 2009, the company started offering over-the-counter tests, which sparked an outburst of media attention. Stories were reported that hundreds of unfaithful women were seeking abortions after their paternity test results and other inflammatory headlines. Several other articles mentioned International Biosciences in lists of companies which offered various unproven services, such as skin care testing. Though there have been several good stories, much of the media attention International Biosciences received was on the ethics and availability of DNA testing, and its implications for human rights.
- ABC News – First the Affair, Then Paternity Test, Then Abortion?
- The Telegraph – DNA heritage tests ‘are worthless’
- Daily Mail – £200-a-time ancestral DNA test kits are a rip off, say experts
- Vogue – Who Are You? The DNA Dilemma
- The Ferret – Over the counter genetic tests raise human rights concerns
- Daily Mail – Couple reunited 23 years on… after she tracks him down for paternity test on son he never knew about
Trustpilot seems to be the only location on the internet with customer reviews of International Biosciences, and there are not many. This could be good, or bad. The company has supposedly serviced millions of customers, yet there are only 30+ reviews. These reviews give 4 out of 5 stars, suggesting the company is doing something right. Of the reviews, over 75% rated the company at 5 stars, while a large 15% rated the company at only 1 star. International Biosciences apparently regularly checks Trustpilot and had responded to a number of complaints, some of which were resolved.
Users who are happy with International Biosciences mentioned the following points:
- Great customer service, which some even critics confirmed
- Results were detailed and informative
- Many customers satisfied with the Dog DNA services
- Prompt responses on both kit arrival, processing, and customer service issues
- Accuracy in a number of tests, from Twin DNA tests to dog pedigrees
- Non-invasive prenatal test was informative
Users giving International Biosciences a 1-star review mentioned the following worthy points:
- A small number of users did complain that the company was unresponsive to their requests
- Some people claimed that the tests were inaccurate, but International Biosciences always responded
- Though the platform contains many dog breeds, some are not represented
- Some customers though the reports were vague or overly generalized
- It is not always clear what scientific evidence backs the claims in the report
- Many of these tests are not diagnostic, and may overplay the role of genetics on health and disease
Bottom line conclusions for this International Biosciences review
International Biosciences has a head-spinning array of products, which are typically at a higher price than many of their competitors. Though they have Ancestry testing, it does not offer family matching nor an online platform to explore. All of the company’s results come in a static PDF form, which will never update. This could be a real disadvantage to early-adopters, who want to benefit from a lifetime of genetic research and updates some companies provide. Besides these shortcomings, the company does provide a number of niche testing services, such as infidelity and dog DNA testing. You may have to watch out for hidden fees, as the company has many additions and processing fees you are responsible for.