Human DNA is a specific script of the organism that stores data about the ancestry, capabilities, personal traits, predisposition to different diseases. Modern technologies allow people to turn to genetic researches to learn more about their organism. Let’s discuss genetic tests, why they are needed, and what types of them exist.
What are genes and what are their peculiarities?
The organism of every person comprises around 100 trillion of cells. Each of them (except for germinal cells) has 23 pairs of chromosomes. They contain genes – DNA sites, which contain instructions needed to make the proteins.
As part of the Human Genome Project, scientists calculated that overall the human organism contains 20-25 thousand genes. They define traits of living beings that descend from parents to children. These are physical characteristics, capabilities, state of health, and even personal traits. Roughly speaking, genes are the “program” that influences most of processes in the organism.
Today geneticists, scientists, and biologists can decipher data stored in genes. To understand what genetic information the DNA contains, one has to make a special analysis.
Types of genetic tests
Any genetic research requires biological material. It can be blood, saliva, hair, embryonic cells, and other tissues or liquids. Laboratories detach DNA from it. Using high-tech equipment, specialists identify the structure of genes and detect mutations. Biostatisticians or geneticists translate the obtain information to the language understandable by people.
There are several types of genetic tests. Some tests are used for medical purposes only. They help to detect different diseases and pathologies. Other DNA tests are made to study the person’s origin, learn more about the organism and personal capabilities. Let’s view the most common types of DNA tests.
Prenatal genetic testing. Such tests are made to see whether the fetus has pathological conditions. The analysis allows detecting Down’s, Edwards', Patau's syndromes, cardiac disorders, etc. at an early stage. Tests are also used to establish paternity.
Newborn screening tests. In the first days of life, genetic analysis is made to define whether the baby has congenital diseases. Such a research helps to diagnose diseases at an early stage and start treatment in time.
In Russia, it is compulsory that newborn children do tests to diagnose five hereditary diseases: hypothyroidism, adrenogenital syndrome, mucoviscidosis, phenyl ketonuria, and galactosemia.
Disease prevention. Many illnesses are the result of gene distortion or heredity. Therefore, by running a genetic testing, one can learn more about not only existing illnesses but also the predisposition to different diseases.
Today testing allows revealing changes in genes that increase risks of cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension, osteoporosis, and other diseases. DNA tests help to diagnose the predisposition to heart attacks, blood strokes, hypertonia, arrhythmia, and other illnesses.
Prognosis of treatment. People can tolerate medication differently depending on the presence of various mutations. A DNA test will help to understand which drugs can cause side effects and which drugs will have the most efficient impact on the organism. Basing on this data, the physician can prescribe an effective treatment.
Sports genetics. Constitution, strength, speed, endurance, propensity for traumas are inheritable. For example, researchers have detected that success in sport by 60% depends on genes.
Genetic testing shows how muscle fibers are distributed in the human organism and where they prevail. It allows defining types of physical activity that the person is predisposed to.
After learning about your peculiarities, you can choose the training program that will help to lose weight or increase the muscle bulk. Thanks to the test, young sportsmen can learn about the capabilities of their bodies before they start a professional career.
Genetic ancestry testing. This research helps to establish the closest relatives and find out from which part of the world your family originated many years ago.
The DNA ancestry test defines the haplogroup of the person (a group of people that have a common ancestor with a mutation inherited by all his descendants). Besides, the test will allow you to find out the genes of which nationalities you inherited from your mother and father.
DNA nutrition test. Today healthy lifestyle is gaining more and more popularity, and many people started paying special attention to their diets. Genetic testing helps to define the peculiarities of metabolism and food intolerance.
Besides, such DNA tests are made to diagnose the predisposition to obesity. Basing on obtained data, nutritionist can come up with an individual diet.
Genetic testing services
Medical tests for deciphering genes are made at public health facilities, private clinics, and laboratories. Besides, such a service is offered by Internet services. To arrange for a DNA research, one has to fill in the inquiry form on the website, order the analysis kit, pay for the service, fill the test tube with biological material, and send it to the laboratory. Let’s have a closer look at such websites.
This firm carries out tests called ‘Health and longevity’, ‘Planning pregnancy’, ‘Diet and fitness’, ‘Talents and sport’, ‘Genealogy’. Each analysis costs 19,990 rubles. Besides, customers are offered extended DNA analyses for 27,990 rubles and tests prescribed by the doctor.
Today Genotek is reader to cater for citizens of Russia and other countries. Customers can send their biological material with a courier from any convenient place or bring it to the medicogenetic centre in Moscow.
Atlas biomed group offers DNA analyses that help to detect the predisposition to illnesses, peculiarities of metabolism, individual food intolerance, risks of sports traumas, ancestry, and personal traits. Test for five directions costs 29,900 rubles. The price also includes the consultation of the geneticist.
The firm makes DNA analyses for the following directions: ‘Nutrition. Sport. Health.’, ‘Beauty and youth’, ‘Child development’. Tests help to draft an individual nutrition plan and training regimen, a personal body care system, and make recommendations on diet and physical activities for the baby’s development.
The price ranges from 5,900 to 29,900 rubles and depends on the package of services.
The service offers DNA analyses that detect predisposition to inheritable cancer types. After the test, the customer receives the report, recommendations on screening and preventive measures against cancer. The test costs 34,900 rubles.
The firm makes five types of tests: ‘Cosmetology’, ‘Trichology’, ‘Dietology’, ‘Active longevity’, ‘Endocrinology. Sex steroids’. DNA analyses help to detect predisposition to illnesses and pathological conditions, abnormalities related to reproductive hormones, learn about eating behavior, physical capabilities, state of skin and hair.
Foreign companies that offer DNA test services are ready to carry out researches for citizens of different countries.
The firm 23andMe offers detailed DNA tests designed to research the health state and ancestry of the person. The analysis costs $199. Results of testing can be sent to Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, countries of the European Union.
MyHeritage makes genetic testing for citizens of all countries. It researches the ancestry of the person and helps to find relatives. The price is $59.
AncestryDNA helps to define ethnic background. The research costs $99. The company provides customers with the Migration history tool. Basing on the test results, specialists make a scheme of relocations made by the person’s ancestors around the world. Moreover, they help to find living relatives. AncestryDNA sends the results of testing to the USA, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand.
In 2019, people have no need in the indiscriminate use of medication and vitamins to prevent various diseases. There is no need to exhaust yourself with useless diets and trainings to lose weight. All you need to do is to undergo genetic testing. DNA analysis can fill gaps in the ‘scenario’ of the organism and give answers to many questions that bother the person.