If you suspect you have a genetic disorder, it is important to have a genetic test and follow up with a genetic counselor. However, individuals considering test kits must decide whether to trust these companies with their genetic information. Studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of obtaining a clinically useful genetic result increases with the quality of the clinical information provided. African Ancestry is very cautious in its approach, requiring a genetic match of 98.6% or more with its reference populations before providing a tribal or national match.
This policy results in a high number of parental test results being returned as European, not African. In particular, 23andMe covers a wide range of categories and provides you with a small sample of all kinds of topics, from your ancestry to your carrier status and pharmacogenetics (how you have a genetic tendency to react to different drugs). Even if you only pay for an ancestry test, many consumer-facing genetic testing companies can also test biomedical markers in your DNA. Additionally, it has been noted that ethnicity is a complex concept, one that is not as deeply rooted in genetics as it is in sociopolitical and cultural constructs.
The basic genetic code present in all cells is what determines key attributes, from eye color to the shape of the ears and susceptibility to cholesterol. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) overcomes these limitations and is the only test that can detect almost all types of genetic variants that cause diseases in a single test. While in certain cases, methods such as single-gene testing, panel testing, or microarrays can identify the cause of a disease, ultimately these tests are limited and may not reveal the full genetic cause. AncestryDNA offers a personalized health report with useful information, access to genetic counseling resources, an online tool that will help you map your family's health over generations, and a next-generation sequencing service to assess your genetic risk for heart disease, certain types of cancer and blood disorders.
This discrepancy is because more information needs to be analyzed in a whole-genome test: between 20,000 and 25,000 genes instead of between 50 and 250 in most standard genetic tests. An epigenetic test alone doesn't provide much information yet, but it costs almost as much as a standalone genetic test. Gaining information about your genetics and epigenetics gives you a deeper understanding and positions you to take action. Among all the DNA tests I tried, 23andMe offered the best introduction to my recent and old genealogy along with an analysis of my genetic health.
DNA testing done at home can even help police track criminal activities and catch serial killers, such as the Golden State killer who was identified through third cousins who had used the genetic testing service GEDmatch.