General Health Monday October 17, 2011

New LabsDirect DNA tests

We are continuously expanding our list of offered tests to ensure that we are able to provide our patients with a comprehensive selection. In our effort to provide you with a more helpful service, we have decided to add DNA testing to our portfolio. These tests range from the interesting, such as our Ancestry DNA profiling tests, to the more sensitive, such as disease predisposition or parentage tests.

The DNA tests that will be available on LabsDirect within the next couple of weeks are: paternity, maternity, siblingship, Y-STR male lineage, X-SV female lineage, twin zygosity, missing parent or grandparent, avuncular (aunt or uncle), identification profiling, genetic predisposition and ancestry testing tests. All these tests will only require you to provide a cheek swab, which can be conveniently collected at home or by a doctor and sent back to our UK accredited laboratory for analysis.

DNA analysis can reveal a staggering amount of information about us, and the ability of this information to be passed on from one generation to the next makes it possible for scientists to be able to identify what, if any, relationship exists between any number of people. It can also determine an individual’s DNA ancestry as far back as 15 generations, as well as an individual’s risk of developing particular diseases.

To give a better idea of how this would work, we can look at the DNA relationship between a parent and child. A child receives 50% of their DNA from each individual parent, meaning that a child and each parent will share 50% of their DNA in common. A paternity or maternity test can establish the degree of correlation between the DNA of a parent and child, to determine with up to 100% accuracy whether they share a biological relationship.

Similarly, to identify whether a person has a risk of developing a medical condition, a DNA profile is created and compared to an existing DNA database to give a risk-percentage indication.

We offer court approved DNA tests and those designed simply for peace of mind. Which you choose will depend on whether you intend to use the results for legal reasons. The method of sampling is the difference between these two types of tests. You can find more information on this difference on each individual page. Please bear in mind that all of our peace of mind tests are intended for informational use only. If you are looking to complete a genetic predisposition test, it is also advisable to visit your doctor or a genetic counsellor with your results, as they will be able to help you understand your results and how they will influence your life.

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