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DNA Testing at Home is Here

Sep 15, 2008
There has been an explosion of DNA tests that can be done at home and sent into the laboratory for evaluation. Tests such as paternity testing and genealogical testing are the most commonly used tests for home use. DNA testing at home is simple and cost effective; many test varieties are available.

A DNA molecule consists of a twisted spiral called a double helix. It is found as part of our genes or chromosomes, inside the nucleus of cells. Each chromosome is made of a tightly coiled strand of DNA. Both sperm and egg hold half of the chromosomes necessary to make a human embryo. It is these chromosomes that are measured when one does DNA testing at home.

An at home paternity test allows you to collect your own DNA samples at a convenient time and place. The testing company provides you with a simple DNA testing kit that contains everything you need to collect DNA samples. The kit comes with a swab for collecting samples, instructions, and a pre-paid return envelope to send samples back to the laboratory. The cost of the DNA testing kits typically range from $99 to a couple hundred dollars. In some cases, it takes only three days to receive results.
Genealogy DNA testing at home comes from a variety of companies, including National Geographic. The costs are around $100 to $125 dollars and they measure both regular DNA and mitochondrial DNA as a way of telling you where your ancestors came from. They have maps that tell you where your ancestors traveled tens of thousands of years ago out of Eastern Africa, considered the birthplace of mankind from a genealogical perspective.

Doing the DNA Testing at Home

Doing the DNA testing at home is very simple. It is often done in two parts. The steps to doing DNA tests at home are as follows:

1. Rinse your mouth with water to clean out food particles.

2. Take the swab, which is actually a brush and brush the inside of the cheeks for at least one minute.

3. Place the swab in the envelope.

4. On a different day, repeat the same steps one through three and seal the envelope.

5. Mail the envelope to the company.

6. The results can take as little as three days or as long as 6 weeks.

Some companies will accept used toothbrushes and Q tips with earwax on them for paternity or other tests that are done in secret without the individual knowing he or she is being tested.

There are many more tests that can be done with DNA testing at home. Family relationship testing can determine grand parentage and siblingship, especially when one or more parents are unavailable. Full or half siblings can be determined. Reconstructive testing can determine the father of a child by examining the other close family members and reconstructing who the father is. Maternity testing is done in cases of adoption or whenever mother and child have been separated by circumstances. Twin zygosity is done whenever it is unclear whether or not twins are identical or fraternal. DNA can be banked for further possible use in case of unexpected future events, such as if you become a missing person or are killed under foul circumstances.

DNA testing at home is a valuable resource that offers anyone wanting to know DNA relationships within their family a simple and inexpensive method to do so.
About the Author
Jason Kay is a biomedical engineer and provides information and advice on current medical technology. He recommends that you learn more about home DNA testing kits at HomeDNATestingKits.net
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