frequently asked questions

What is genetic ancestry testing?

Genetic ancestry testing, or genetic genealogy, is a way for people interested in family history (genealogy) to go beyond what they can learn from relatives or from historical documentation. Examination of DNA variations can provide clues about where a person's ancestors might have come from and about relationships between families. Certain patterns of genetic variation are often shared among people of particular backgrounds. The more closely related two individuals, families, or populations are, the more patterns of variation they typically share.

Three types of genetic ancestry testing are commonly used for genealogy:

Y chromosome testing

Variations in the Y chromosome, passed exclusively from father to son, can be used to explore ancestry in the direct male line. Y chromosome testing can only be done on males, because females do not have a Y chromosome. However, women interested in this type of genetic testing sometimes recruit a male relative to have the test done. Because the Y chromosome is passed on in the same pattern as are family names in many cultures, Y chromosome testing is often used to investigate questions such as whether two families with the same surname are related.

 

Mitochondrial DNA testing

This type of testing identifies genetic variations in mitochondrial DNA. Although most DNA is packaged in chromosomes within the cell nucleus, cell structures called mitochondria also have a small amount of their own DNA (known as mitochondrial DNA). Both males and females have mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on from their mothers, so this type of testing can be used by either sex. It provides information about the direct female ancestral line. Mitochondrial DNA testing can be useful for genealogy because it preserves information about female ancestors that may be lost from the historical record because of the way surnames are often passed down.

 

Single nucleotide polymorphism testing

These tests evaluate large numbers of variations (single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs) across a person’s entire genome. The results are compared with those of others who have taken the tests to provide an estimate of a person's ethnic background. For example, the pattern of SNPs might indicate that a person's ancestry is approximately 50 percent African, 25 percent European, 20 percent Asian, and 5 percent unknown. Genealogists use this type of test because Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA test results, which represent only single ancestral lines, do not capture the overall ethnic background of an individual.

ref: U.S NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE

What is direct-to-consumer genetic testing?

Most of the time, genetic testing is done through healthcare providers such as physicians, nurse practitioners, and genetic counselors. Healthcare providers determine which test is needed, order the test from a laboratory, collect and send the DNA sample, interpret the test results, and share the results with the patient. Often, a health insurance company covers part or all of the cost of testing.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is different: these genetic tests are marketed directly to customers via television, print advertisements, or the Internet, and the tests can be bought online or in stores. Customers send the company a DNA sample and receive their results directly from a secure website or in a written report. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing provides people access to their genetic information without necessarily involving a healthcare provider or health insurance company in the process.

Dozens of companies currently offer direct-to-consumer genetic tests for a variety of purposes. The most popular tests use genetic variations to make predictions about health, provide information about common traits, and offer clues about a person’s ancestry. The number of companies providing direct-to-consumer genetic testing is growing, along with the range of health conditions and traits covered by these tests. Because there is currently little regulation of direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, it is important to assess the quality of available services before pursuing any testing.

Other names for direct-to-consumer genetic testing include DTC genetic testing, direct-access genetic testing, at-home genetic testing, and home DNA testing.

ref: U.S NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE

What kinds of direct-to-consumer genetic tests are available?

With so many companies offering direct-to-consumer genetic testing, it can be challenging to determine which tests will be most informative and helpful to you. When considering testing, think about what you hope to get out of the test. Some direct-to-consumer genetic tests are very specific (such as paternity tests), while other services provide a broad range of health, ancestry, and lifestyle information.

Major types of direct-to-consumer genetic tests include:

Disease risk and health

The results of these tests estimate your genetic risk of developing several common diseases, such as celiac diseaseParkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease. Some companies also include a person’s carrier status for less common conditions, including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. A carrier is someone who has one copy of a gene mutation that, when present in two copies, causes a genetic disorder. The tests may also look for genetic variations related to other health-related traits, such as weight and metabolism (how a person’s body converts the nutrients from food into energy).

Ancestry or genealogy

The results of these tests provide clues about where a person's ancestors might have come from, their ethnicity, and genetic connections between families.

Kinship

The results of these tests can indicate whether tested individuals are biologically related to one another. For example, kinship testing can establish whether one person is the biological father of another (paternity testing). The results of direct-to-consumer kinship tests, including paternity tests, are usually not admissible in a court of law.

Lifestyle

The results of these tests claim to provide information about lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, fitness, weight loss, skincare, sleep, and even your wine preferences, based on variations in your DNA. Many of the companies that offer this kind of testing also sell services, products, or programs that they customize on the basis of your test results.

ref: U.S NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE

What are the benefits of direct-to-consumer genetic testing?

  • Direct-to-consumer genetic testing promotes awareness of genetic diseases.

  • It provides personalized information about your health, disease risk, and other traits.

  • It may help you be more proactive about your health.

  • It does not require approval from a healthcare provider or health insurance company.

  • It is often less expensive than genetic testing obtained through a healthcare provider.

  • DNA sample collection is usually simple and noninvasive, and results are available quickly.

  • Your data is added to a large database that can be used to further medical research. Depending on the company, the database may represent up to several million participants.

ref: U.S NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE

Which type of genetic test SCIDEUSGENETICS's LIFE&ME package is rendering?

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Will my personal information and identity be secured?

Our team has eliminated the need for customers to provide identity information by utilizing an online registration and ordering system. Customers can subscribe to our site with a nickname or even without their name or national number or identity with just an email address. In this way, all reports and consultations results will be posted on the website regardless of personal data. In addition, our website utilizes the latest technology in information and data security and protection. One of the strongest SSL technologies worldwide also establishes our encrypted website connections as well.

Will my test results be shared with any third party?

As explained, our site has a strong security system. Your test results and other reports will be displayed on our website in the part which belongs to you only. Since website design is so that you have the ability to manage your own pages, you can share these reports with someone else by your own decision and just by adding them to your account. This feature is designed to allow you to compete in goals with others, or even share your results to your coach, nutritionist or your physician to get your plan or prescriptions this time considering your genetic analysis as well.