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Are DNA tests accurate?

Posted on  22 FEB 2020

If you are planning to consider getting a DNA test for you or a closed one, then you must be aware of the process that can be a bit uneasy for you. If you don’t know much about the process and how accurate it is, then this post is for you.

Many people aren’t clear about the accuracy of these DNA tests, and it is the most critical question to ponder upon before taking the test.

Before moving on, let us ask you a question:

You must be aware that identical twins contain identical DNA. What do you think about the case when the DNA samples of a set of twins go for DNA testing? Do you think they will get identical results too, like identical DNAs?

Well, the answer to this question is already given by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It is “not necessarily” for the identical twins to get the same results from their DNA testing.

It has been proved in a recent investigation by the same corporation that many times, twins do not get similar results even when a single company conducts the tests.

Let’s get into a more profound understanding of DNA tests and how accurate they are!

Overview

One of the most accurate methods that are used to determine the maternity or paternity is DNA testing. It is widely used all over the world in the medical community, and its science is quite irrefutable.

Since the last few decades, there had been a lot of advancement in this field. That is why technology has become better substantially. Now, the DNA tests are accurate 90% of the time, unlike the previous days. Back in the 1920s, blood tests were used to determine paternity.

But in recent years, it is evident that blood types are not the best determinants for paternity. Although blood tests can be used to eliminate or discount certain people, they are not ideal for determining paternity.

Now, there are much simpler but highly accurate methods available that are used to determine paternity and genealogical heritage.

Are there any risks involved in DNA testing?

The physical risks associated with DNA testing are not significant, especially for those tests that require taking samples from the inner surface of the cheeks and the blood sample.

However, a few issues can arise if the DNA tests are not performed correctly. The first issue is the inaccuracy of the DNA test results, which involves social, financial, or emotional consequences.

Many times, people who take these DNA tests may become angry and depressed and feel guilty and anxious about the test results.

On the other hand, prenatal DNA testing known as chronic villus can put the person into a risk of miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

Thus, the results can have severe emotional losses. Therefore, it is essential to consult with your doctor regarding the financial and social risks before you take the test.

The reliability and accuracy of the DNA test

To know about the accuracy and reliability of DNA tests, let’s go through some real-life cases.

DNA tests are so reliable that they can validate your entire existence. One of the best examples of this case was published in Detroit Free Press.

The example mentions a 53 years old woman who went with her husband to submit their DNA. The results surprised her as she realized that she belongs to a “European Jewish” ethnicity.

To confirm the results, George explored her family tree and reaffirmed the results further.

Adam Rutherford’s findings on genes and DNA testing

The famous host of the BBC channel, Rutherford and author of a book written on genetics known as “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Geneshas conducted a lot of research on genes. His findings also received many critical acclaims in the past.

Adam Rutherford claims that many people believe that their DNA tests will reveal their historical population, which is not the case. He states that there is no scientific method or the latest technology that can tell the historical population of your DNA.

However, these tests can tell you something exciting! They can take you to the people who share your DNA, no matter where they are in the world.

Keep in mind here that these DNA tests are way different from the ones that are taken to detect medical issues. Those tests are more scientific.

This example provides it quite clear that DNA tests are accurate, and there shouldn’t be any doubt about their accuracy. There are millions of other cases out there as well that are the proof of the accuracy of DNA tests.

What about the accuracy of DNA tests that are conducted at home?

The answer is “Yes”. However, there are many kinds of DNA tests available out there that can be performed at home. One such test is known as the “Swab DNA Test”.

At-home DNA tests are accurate if you conduct it the right way. What’s the wrong way of doing DNA tests at home? Well, if you are taking the test right after having a meal, then chances are that you will get an error.

Keep in mind that we are explicitly mentioning “Swab DNA Test” here. Similarly, if you are going to an excellent and high-quality laboratory, even then you might not get accurate DNA tests.

Therefore, we strongly suggest you use the right methods and go to the proper laboratory if you want accurate DNA results.

How to ensure your DNA tests are accurate and what can you do about it?

If you are taking your DNA test at home and you need to ensure that the results are accurate, you need to follow these instructions:

  • Before using the swab method, make sure that you don’t eat anything before that. The best time to take this test is to take it early morning even before brushing your teeth.
  • Always open your swab right before you take the test.
  • It is essential that during your swab test, you gently rub the swab in your mouth and don’t rub it harshly in your mouth. Keep in that the vital part of this test is your saliva.
  • Always store the swab in the bottle that is provided with it. Do not place it in a plastic container.
  • If you are taking the test from a laboratory, make sure that you have enough time and that you can wait patiently. It can take anywhere between 10 days to two weeks to get accurate results. If a laboratory is providing you with the result before that time, then you need to be cautious.

What is the best and the most accurate DNA test method?

There are different types of DNA tests available. Always consult your doctor before choosing a test. Depending upon the choice of your test,  the doctor or healthcare provider will take your blood sample, amniotic fluid, or skin then send it to the DNA testing lab.

Following are different types of DNA tests that are available:

Blood sample test

In this test, your healthcare provider will take your blood sample. This sample is taken with the help of a needle in your vein and taking the blood.

This test is a bit uncomfortable for many people and is also painful. Blood tests are 99.9% accurate if you are taking it from a reputable and good-quality laboratory.

Cheek swab test

The most common and desirable form of DNA test is check swab test. For this test, a swab sample is taken from the inside of your cheek. It is then sent for genetic testing.

This test can also be performed at home. Many home test kits are available that provide clear instructions and highly accurate results.

Amniocentesis test

It is a prenatal genetic test where your doctor inserts a hollow and thin needle into your uterus through the abdominal wall. In this method, amniotic fluid is collected.

Chorionic villus sampling test

It is also a prenatal genetic test. In this test, your healthcare provider takes the sample of tissue from your placenta. There are different methods of taking this sample.

It is taken with the help of a tube, whether through your abdominal or your cervix. It is also a painful procedure and is too risky in many cases. However, the results from this method are also accurate as others.

Which one to take?

The choice of taking the DNA test is entirely yours. Most of the people choose to go the easy way and take the cheek swab test.

There had been a lot of reasoning about the accuracy of various DNA tests. People continuously get confused about which test to take. When it comes to the most common and more straightforward method, it is the saliva swab test.

Many people aren’t sure about the accuracy of the saliva test because it is a general perception that saliva is not invasive. But, keep in mind that the swab test is not easy and straightforward, but it is also as accurate as any other test.

Moreover, this test, unlike many different DNA tests such as blood tests and finger-prick tests, doesn’t hurt at all.

Moreover, for all those people out there who question the accuracy of DNA tests, there is only one rule: follow the instructions! No matter you are fixing your car, following google maps, building a cupboard or taking a DNA test, you will get accurate tests as long as you are following the instructions.

You will never get accurate results if you are not following the instructions. That is especially true for mouth swab tests that are conducted at home.

The next thing to keep in mind before taking your DNA test is the “cost” factor. Cost is one crucial factor that is very important in determining the accuracy of your DNA test. How is that so? Well, whether you are performing the test at home using your kit or you are going to a laboratory,

the more costly a test kit or laboratory is, the more accurate the results will be. You can never get good results from a low-quality or cheap test kit. Likewise, going to an unknown laboratory also doesn’t ensure accurate results.

Therefore, always do in-depth research before taking your DNA test and make sure that you choose only a reputable laboratory and supplier.

If you follow these simple instructions for your DNA test, then you will get your desired and accurate results. People who claim the DNA tests to be inaccurate are mostly those who lack proper knowledge about the test kits, DNA test methods, and laboratories.

Conclusion:

Are DNA tests accurate - image 2

With advanced technology, the accuracy of DNA testing goes as high as 99.9%. Moreover, it is incredibly simple. You need to visit a DNA specialist for your test or order a test kit.

When we talk about the ancestry and determining close family relations like parents and siblings, DNA tests are a good option. There are dozens of examples and stories out there that we listen to every day about the identification and reunite of close family members.

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