DNA tests are all the rage lately. People want to know where they come from and they want to find out about not so long lost family members. But there are a few things to be wary of when taking a DNA test. Some are age-dependent and others can be hard knowledge to have.
The best feature of a DNA test is that you can quickly trace your genealogy, sometimes back hundreds of years and even find out that you have a cousin in a far-flung country you can now reach out to. A negative side effect that has been showing up in some unique cases are finding out that your parents or siblings are unrelated to you and there are some skeletons in the proverbial family closet.
Genetic Health Risks
One of the features of tests from companies like 23andMe is their health service. They can test your DNA for a number of genetic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other gene variants that may show susceptibility to some cancers. If you are having the test performed on yourself this can be valuable information for early treatment. However, if you are having this test done for your son or daughter, it can be hard knowledge to have as they grow up and you knowing that they will eventually suffer from one of these debilitating diseases. Then again, knowledge is power so knowing that a child has this disease might spur one on to finding a cure or develop other modes to combat it.
DNA On File
While privacy measures are in place, it seems likely that eventually this genetic information will be stored in a database that can be accessed for legal purposes, such as that of a police investigation. Not that this is a major worry, but who knows why your DNA might be on a site. For example, if you rent a car there could be some strands of hair inside and if that can be matched back to you in the event that a crime is committed it would be a nuisance to have to deal with. Just as Facebook is subject to breaches, DNA online storage can also be and that is admittedly far more personal since it is on a cellular level than social media. If you are considering taking a DNA test, simply weigh all the pros and the cons before you send that swab in!