Understanding Different Types of DNA Tests

DNA Tests
Written by Nancy

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is the chemical chain found in all organisms that tells body cells how to grow. The DNA is made up for chromosomes and carries genetic information that gives you a unique fingerprint.

DNA tests today are becoming increasingly popular. They help identify a number of aspects of your body, your ancestry, and your paternity. Below we’ll discuss three main types of DNA tests and the purpose of each.

Paternity test

Paternity testing refers to a DNA test that helps determine whether a particular person is the biological father of the child or not. The procedure requires a small sample of bodily fluid or tissue from both the child and the potential father, which is then examined to see if the DNA matches.

Cells from blood or from inside your cheeks are usually collected for the test. As the DNA of a person consists of half of the mother’s DNA and half of the father’s—therefore, a paternity test can confirm if a man is indeed the biological father of a child.

The accuracy of a paternity test is very high in which the test shows 99.9% of probability that the person is the biological father or dismisses him of the possibility by a 100%.

Lineage testing

Lineage testing, also known as ancestry testing, helps you get a better understanding of your family history (genealogy). The test can show where your ancestors belonged and help you learn more about the relationships between the families.

There are three common types of lineage testing: Y chromosome testing, mitochondrial DNA testing, and single nucleotide polymorphism testing.

Y chromosome testing examines the variation in the Y chromosome, which is exclusively passed on from the father to a son, to understand the ancestry in males only.

In mitochondrial DNA testing, DNA in the mitochondria is tested—this kind of DNA is only passed down from the mother and is therefore used to determine the female ancestry. Mitochondrial DNA testing can be used by both males and females.

Single nucleotide polymorphism testing is used when the first two tests do not provide a clear understanding of the person’s ethnic background. In this test, a number of different variations in the DNA are tested and compared against another closely-related person’s test.

Health DNA Test

DNA health tests help determine several aspects of your genetic health. Analyzing your DNA and the genetic markers present in it, the DNA health test can help identify the likelihood of you developing conditions like lung cancer, Alzheimer’s, melanoma, chronic kidney disease, etc.

If you’re looking for a reliable DNA testing service, then check out Divergent Healthcare in Calgary. They provide a hassle-free paternity test and also test your DNA for a wide range of hereditary conditions. Book an appointment now.

About the author



I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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