DNA Testing, also known as genetic testing is a testing methodology used to test DNA sequences in living things. It can be used to check for relationships, mutual similarities and genetic changes in the chromosome structure. Earlier forms of DNA testing in the 1950s consisted of a simple counting of the number of chromosomes in a given cell – this simple technique has evolved to such complex and truly unique forms of testing in today’s era.
The vast scope that a DNA test poses have increased its usage in different avenues exponentially, and listed below are five of the most popular ways in which DNA Testing is used in today’s age:
DNA testing is used in ancestry tests
DNA testing is popularly being used to find out more about an individual’s ancestry. This is essentially powered by the fact that since the Y chromosome in men doesn’t change between generations and hence this enables an ancestry test. An ancestry test by organizations like CRI Genetics allows users to discover their family line up till almost 50 generations and allows them to learn where their ancestors were from. People like to find out more about their history and about where their ancestors came from, and this test allows them to do just that.
DNA testing is used in criminal investigations
DNA testing is widely used in criminal investigations as DNA profiling helps investigators identify DNA profiles with the evidence found on crime scenes. Especially when the crime is committed by a repeat offender, DNA testing makes it very easy for the police to conduct an investigation as they simply have to match on scene DNA evidence with the one in their database.
DNA testing is used in archaeology
DNA testing is used by archeologists in order to keep a record of genetic codes of living things to understand and study how natural life has progressed on this earth. This record has enabled the creation of a DNA database which has enabled a detailed profiling of natural and living things on the face of this earth, and has greatly helped scientific research. This has allowed scientists to answer questions related to evolution and genetic mutation.
DNA testing is used in paternity testing
In order to confirm a child’s father or his/her paternity, a paternal test that utilizes DNA testing is the most definitive measure. With new laws surrounding child custody and child support, a paternal test is of great importance to both parents to ensure that court decisions are made in favor of the child and to protect the child’s financial stability and future.
DNA testing is used in fetus health testing
DNA testing is used in fetus or prenatal genetic testing to assess whether the child will have any health problems upon birth or not. Doctors can also assess the possibility and risk associated with genetic diseases and whether either of the parents’ genetic diseases would be transferred to the child or not. This helps doctors identify high risk pregnancies and then advise follow-ups and checkups to patients accordingly.
While DNA testing has certain risks and limitations associated with it, it is still widely regarded as one of many medical marvels in the history of medical science. Its applications are numerous and are used worldwide, and only our imagination limits the applications of DNA and genetic testing. From its usage in simple school science experiments, to scientists attempting to create human clones, DNA testing has provided humans with multiple avenues to grow, experiment and create new opportunities. Its applications in agriculture and planting have made it possible for us to see fruits and vegetables like we do today.