About millions of people buy DNA test kits as gifts each year. After all, who doesn’t want to know the hidden secrets of their family heritage? It is not very hard to comprehend why test kits from 23andME, MyHeritage, and AncestryDNA are becoming popular.
However, the DNA test kits have also found themselves in the middle of debates. It’s no doubt that DNA testing has its caveats. But, they also have tons of benefits. So, before divulging secrets about your family tree, don’t you want to know the shortcomings of DNA testing?
This article will discuss everything those DNA test kit companies and science books won’t tell you.
What You Don’t Know About DNA Test
The books always present DNA testing as trump cards for better health. However, like everything around you, DNA tests, too, have limitations. What’s more, the books or the test kit company aren’t going to tell you any of those pitfalls.
They Don’t Guarantee Accuracy.
The first thing you should know about DNA tests is that they might not be accurate all the time. Reports suggest that people get different results when they test with other kits. The books will tell you that the test is phenomenal for unveiling your ethnic lineage.
One thing they aren’t going to tell you is how notoriously unreliable these kits are. If you have a dangerous genetic mutation, there’s a likelihood that the test skips past it.
A study in Genetics in Medicine suggests that up to 40% of the raw data were falsely positive. In simple terms, the testing companies mistook harmless mutations as dangerous ones. It’s not tough to imagine how a positive result can stress a person.
For this reason, you must always resort to reputable testing companies.
DNA Database Are Prone to Hacks
Recently, MyHeritage reported a massive database hack that consists of information of nearly 92 million test-takers. However, it was only the patient’s email that was under attack. Thankfully, the genetic information was not accessible.
However, as these companies are gaining more and more popularity, there have been doubts. It’s no secret that the genetic database has abundant advantages for several people out there.
There is no guarantee that these criminals won’t try to infiltrate the genetic database as well. Therefore, when you plan to buy one of those testing kits, think once again.
Company Might Sell Your Information
Now, this one might come as a shocker for many of the potential test-takers. You might not be aware, but the DNA testing companies involve in such processes. Many direct-to-consumer companies sign up for lucrative deals with pharma companies.
Not so surprisingly, 23andMe has a deal with GlaxoSmithKline worth $300 million. Calico Life Sciences is the most popular buyer of Ancestry’s data. Calico Life Sciences is a biotech firm that the billionaires of Silicon Valley bankrolled.
However, there are many DNA test kit companies out there who have been changing the scenario. They offer the users complete privacy from such activities. In some DNA testing companies, the decision of sharing the user’s data lies only with them.
They Can Use It Against You
The Federal genetic policy does not apply to disability insurance, life, or long-term care. The company has legal permission to access the genetic information of users. There have been many court rulings to protect the test takers from such situations.
These direct-to-consumer DNA test kits might seem like a perfect holiday gift but think again. Do you want you or your family to be the subject of discrimination? In any case, you should stick to tests in doctor’s offices or reputable companies.
The Bottom Line
So after knowing all the secrets about DNA testing, do you still want to do it? Nevertheless, we find it hard to deny the benefits of these tests. Test kit companies are going an extra mile to ensure the privacy and security of test-takers.
DNA tests can be an excellent opportunity to spot underlying diseases in family trees. It can save you from all that uncertainty. However, it is equally important to find a reliable test kit company. Hopefully, this article was helpful and informative for all test-takers.
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