DNA testing is a commonly used process for getting a lot of personal information about oneself. With the availability of home testing kits, it has become easier to get information relating to a person’s family history, the place they came from, and sometimes as deep as their identity.
A DNA test can be highly informative, but the results can also be full of uncertainties and implications that were unanticipated.
Here are a few things that a DNA test can and cannot tell you.
Information related to family – Can Tell
Your DNA can be considered as proof of your relation to your family. You can get a lot of useful information regarding your family ancestry. It helps you establish those long-lost relations, which would have been difficult to establish without the help of DNA.
DNA testing is a popularly used tool in understanding genealogy, but it just one tiny arrow in the quiver. It cannot be considered as the final judgment for declaring anything.
Also, DNA testing is not all about happy information. You might finally be able to map out who your kin are, but it will also throw light on who you aren’t related to. It results in the revelation of information that might turn out to be highly uncomfortable for you.
Race and Ethnicity – Cannot Tell
A DNA test might help you recognize who your family members are, but it cannot give a piece of concrete information about their ethnicity. The data generated in this particular area is not the most accurate one.
The geographical understanding of ethnicity has, indeed, improved with the betterment of DNA testing, it is still not highly reliable. The data collected might be well suited for the test population, but extrapolating the same to get a deeper understanding of the connection can result in massive errors.
When it comes to tracing ethnicity with DNA testing, one needs to consider the fact, that all individuals have a 99.9% similarity in DNA. What remains of the 100%, 85% of those traits have no connection with ethnicity and race determination.
So, even if the DNA testing data is being used to study the same, getting something concrete and strong is not very likely to happen.
Another commonly observed issue is the diversity in the same gene observed in different parts of the world. What a DNA test studies are a variation in a particular gene across populations. It records the frequency of these variations and gives no information about the reason for their occurrence.
DNA testing is, indeed, a very important tool used excessively in biological studies. The technique, though, has seen massive improvements, it still lacks in providing the information that is expected out of it.
The reason for the same is, however, not the failure of researchers and scientists. It is the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the human genetic system. The millions of possibilities give rise to an even higher number of permutations and combinations, affecting the gene makeup in individuals across the globe.
This shows why there even a 0.1% difference at the gene level can cause massive changes physiologically.