One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when buying a DNA test kit is that they focus on the company who is selling or providing the kit and not the lab that is actually doing all of the work. Here are some basic facts that you need to keep in mind when thinking about doing DNA testing at home.
The Most Popular DNA Testing Services:
Tests for 100 illnesses, traits, and conditions. Order a kit, register it, and send in your saliva sample. Get results online from the CLIA certified lab in 6-8 weeks. Basic kit is $399. Read 23andMe reviews.
One of the quickest, easiest, and most accurate paternity tests on the market. 99.9999% accurate when both parents and child are tested. Order an online kit and send in cheek swab sample. Once the lab receives your sample, results are available in as little as three working days. The home paternity test kit is $199. Read Beta Paternity reviews.
Accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks, HomeDNA offers paternity testing with 99.9999% accuracy. Order a kit online and use their HomeSwab 4 step process to get results online in about 5 business days. Kits are affordably priced at $78. Read HomeDNA reviews.
The only service that offers paternity tests available at your local pharmacy. Send your samples to their fully accredited DNA Paternity Testing Laboratory with a 2-3 business day turnaround time. Total cost is $158.99 (kit at pharmacy for $29.99 and lab fees are $129). Read Identigene reviews.
Personal genetic reports on diet and exercise, drug response, carrier status, and complex health conditions. Over 70 recessive genetic conditions can be screened. Ask your physician for a kit, send in a saliva sample, and receive a report on your DNA analysis. Read Pathway Genomics reviews.
Points to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Home DNA Test Kit
1. Labs Vary Greatly – While you do not need to get the most expensive test available, it is important to not go too cheap either. According to the Genetic and Public Policy Center, the test quality will vary from laboratory to laboratory because of a variety of factors. Since there are no mandatory minimum standards, it is important to verify company policies and accreditations before choosing your test.
2. Make Sure That the Lab is Accredited – Currently, less than 50% of paternity testing labs are AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) accredited. This can cause a lot of problems because if you choose a company that uses an unaccredited lab, then there is no guarantee that the results will be correct. The AABB is the only accrediting agency in the USA for relationship testing facilities. They have created a very strict set of policies and procedures that labs must meet. These policies and procedures were created to ensure that labs can maintain a minimum accuracy of 99.99%.
3. How Knowledgeable is Customer Service – One way to find out if the company behind your home DNA paternity test is to call customer service. If the company is actually an accredited lab, they will have an extremely knowledgeable and helpful customer service. However, if the customer service is not knowledgeable and cannot connect you with someone who can provide you answers, then there is a good chance that you are dealing with a company that is only acting as a middle man.
4. Deal With Labs Directly – Not only are less than 50% labs accredited, buy many companies that send out home test kits are not actually labs at all. They will take the samples that you send them and simply ship them to another lab. This means that you have no idea who is actually doing any of the testing. Additionally, if these companies go out of business, you will have no way to get copies of your test results. With labs this will not be a problem because you would be dealing directly with them instead of an intermediary.
5. What Else Does the Lab Do? – It is always best to choose labs that do more than informational home DNA testing. This type of testing requires zero regulation, whereas other types of DNA testing has rigid standards. For example, if a lab has convicted offender DNA databank contracts, they have undergone hundreds of blind tests and are certified by the state. There is a lot of additional certification that labs can get including CLIA medical test site accreditation and supplementary proficiency tests conducted by the College of American Pathologists and Collaborative Testing Services. In short, the more a lab is qualified to do, the more accredited they necessarily are.
Remember, when doing your own comparisons and reading home DNA test kit reviews, focusing on the lab instead of the intermediary (if there is one) is the most important variable to consider.
How DNA Testing Works
DNA testing is used for a multitude of things in the world of investigation and it used to mean going to a doctor’s office and airing your dirty laundry for all to see; but that has all changed with the advent of home DNA testing. Home DNA testing is a great way to determine paternity or if you are predisposed to certain genetic conditions. So why use home DNA testing?
Sometimes it is necessary to find out if you are or are not the father of a child. This may be something that needs to be done legally through the courts and in this case you usually have to go to a doctor’s office to make it official. But if you just want peace of mind, you can use a home paternity DNA testing kit and find out for sure in a few short days.
Likewise you may want to know if you are predisposed to a number of genetic diseases as knowing can help you to understand what you can and cannot do in order to try to avoid what you may be predisposed to. You could go to a doctor’s office and wait in the waiting room and then wait a number of days or weeks for the results, or you can use a home test and get the results yourself and the best part is you do it when you want to.
While DNA testing is a complicated business, conducting your own DNA test at home is not. Here is how most home DNA testing kits work:
• Get a sample of your DNA: Collecting a sample of your DNA is as simple as using a swab and rubbing the inside of your cheek. The swab will come in the kit and will resemble a big Q-Tip. If you are conducting a paternity test you will also get a seperate sample swabbing of the infant in question.
• Send in your samples: Once you have swabbed the subjects that are to be tested, you then place the samples in the sealable bags that are also included in the kit and then pack those away in the provided envelope and mail them away. The lab will then take the sample or samples provided and run the appropriate tests.
• Get your results: Results can be had in as little as a couple of days and it is your choice whether to receive the results by phone, mail, or e-mail.
Now you may be thinking that a home kit is not going to be very accurate, but most are quite accurate. Most kits designed for home use genetic tests are well over 99 percent accurate. Really with all the advances in technology today, the results are as good as or better than the tests conducted at your doctor’s office.
While the privacy is a welcomed feature with home DNA testing, the icing on the cake is the price. You can conduct your own home DNA test for a fraction of what it would cost you at the doctor’s office. This makes DNA testing i your own home a no brainer for your peace of mind.
Get started by reading customer reviews of the most popular DNA testing kits listed on this site.