DNA Testing: The Gift that Keeps Giving

DNA Testing: The Gift that Keeps Giving

Several years ago, my sister bought me a subscription for DNA testing through 23andMe.com. After receiving my DNA kit and submitting a saliva sample by mail, I received online results.

I learned more about my genetic heritage and a lot more about my potential genetic risk for certain diseases or health issues. Periodically, I get notifications about distant (and some not-so-distant) relatives who have indicated they are open for contact.  Fortunately for me, my profile didn’t suggest that I was at high risk for any particular disease or health issue.

DNA home testing kits provide us with connections to our past and also give us an opportunity to leave a genetic legacy for the future. If you are considering purchasing a DNA service, now might be a good time because of potential sale prices during the holidays. DNA testing services also make great gifts for family members if you are in search of a unique and useful item.  You can even purchase a DNA test for your dog if you wish for about $70 through Amazon. There are a surprising number of choices available, but I’m only going to talk about three of them—23andMe, Ancestry.com, and Wisdom Panel.


23andMe: If you are interested in DNA-based health screenings, 23andMe is probably your best choice available. The reports you will receive include: carrier status, trait report, wellness report, and health risk report. The carrier status report screens for a number of genetic disorders including Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy. The report I received from 23andMe indicated that I was a low or average risk for common genetic disorders. The reviews for DNA tests suggest 23andMe.com is one of the best options for identifying health issues. Of course, no test is 100% perfect at this point, but they may alert you to something you will want to discuss with your doctor.

If you want to know from where your ancestors migrated, how much Neanderthal DNA you carry, and your maternal and paternal haplogroup (a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor) reports, 23andMe provides this information. The information available is interesting and easy to understand.

Right now, the 23andMe website is promoting a 50% off sale until December 2nd, 2019. You can choose from the ancestry and traits kit, the ancestry and health kit, or a VIP ancestry and health kit.


Ancestry DNA: If you or other family members want to find relatives or discover relationships with numerous regions around the world, this is reported to be the best service. Reportedly, this service also has a huge collection of online records and databases to help you fill in your family tree.

If you are hoping to find long lost family members or learn more about your ancestors, Ancestry.com might be your best bet. As one reviewer reported, AncestryDNA is the best option for finding living relatives in the U.S. because of their large customer database.

If you think AncestryDNA is something you or a family member might enjoy, it might be the time to make a purchase as these kits are also on sale right now.

Wisdom Panel (for Dogs)

Wisdom Panel: For anyone who has rescued a dog but needs more information about the dog’s breed percentages, trait information related to breeding, and other general information, this service might be worth the price (which varies, depending on the site or current special offers). For additional money, genetic health reports are also available. Reportedly, the information provided can help with the care and training of our four-legged family members.

If you have used a DNA testing service, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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