Health Bloggers: Learn About DNA Advances!

Guest Author

If you blog in a health-related niche, you need to always be updating your knowledge about the various science advancements. One of the areas that is growing a lot and changing rapidly is DNA, and in this article we are going to go over the latest developments so that you can learn about them and possibly talk about them in your blog or website.

 The basics

Searching and learning about historical identity is an experience that unifies people around the world. This collective demand and fascination to know more about where your ancestors came from gave rise to the booming industry of DNA test kits. Current studies show that at least 12 million people have made use of DNA testing services offered by several companies. This number, while already significant is bound to grow in the coming years as these kits become more accessible and the technology becomes increasingly sophisticated as well.

While for most people, the purpose of getting their DNA tested is apparent; there is still some conflicting information on what a DNA test kit can and cannot reveal about a person’s ancestry. Let us take a closer look at the specific benefits of using a DNA test kit to learn about your personal history.

DNA test kits reveal a genetic connection to some populations, but information may be limited

Every DNA testing company uses a different method to determine a person’s ancestry.  But in general, a DNA test involves a comparison between the customer’s DNA and the DNA that represents that of the population of a specific geographical location. Many people who eventually learn that they are European, Asian, or South American by some significant percentage can use the information to build a comprehensive family tree. Fortunately, you can use family tree software to trace your genealogy and connect with potential relatives from other parts of the world. Cool, right?

It is, however, essential to understand that there are times when a DNA test kit is not sufficient to pinpoint where your ancestors actually came from. In some instances, the genetic representation of certain populations is not entirely available. But as more research is conducted, the accuracy of DNA tests to find ancestry is bound to improve as well.

Finding lost-lost relatives

Some DNA testing services allow customers access to information on whether other users are related to them. As mentioned above, this option is quite helpful, especially for those who are keen to complete a multi-generational family tree. It is also useful for adopted individuals who are searching for a way to connect with their biological relations. But remember that being able to access biological information about other people may not be a welcome thought as it infringes on privacy. Nonetheless, approach this option with caution if you want the DNA testing company to match your genetic data with other users.

Some, but not all, DNA test kits can connect your ancestry to a pre-historic lineage

Some DNA testing companies offer customers the option to get a mitochondrial DNA test. This type of test determines a person’s maternal haplogroup, which is a group of people who have the same maternal ancestor thousands of years ago. While a DNA kit can potentially tell whether you share ancestry with ancient Neanderthals, this information may be limited to specific populations only such as Europeans and Asians. Some populations like those of Middle Eastern descent have limited genetic information DNA test companies can use for comparison.

 Over to you

What other health related areas do you think it is important to keep an eye on?

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