One of the trends in science is consumer DNA testing. It’s estimated that between the four major testing companies, 26 million testing kits have been sold worldwide.
From the very beginning, various people at various times have questioned their accuracy. It leaves many people wondering whether the results they’re getting are truly valid. In this article, you’re finally going to get an answer to this question.
It’s the Size of the Database that Matters
The larger DNA testing companies tend to keep getting customers because they happen to be the most accurate. To understand this, you need to be aware of how your sample is tested.
Various genetic markers are used to determine your heritage, your family, and any diseases that may run down your family line. The more samples in the database the more accurate your results.
Remember, you’re not being compared to people born centuries before. You’re being compared to living people, and conclusions are then formed based off their data.
Why Do People Get Different Results Depending on the Company?
Pick up a DNA testing kit and you’ll find that people say they got different results depending on the company used. The reason for this could be due to the size of the database and the racial makeup of that database.
It’s well-known that people of color discover that they don’t get the same quality results as white clients. The reason for this is due to major events like the Transatlantic Slave Trade and a lack of documentation in many African and Latin American regions.
But for most people the results will only differ by a percentage point or two, rather than anything more radical.
DNA testing kits have their uses and can point you in the right direction with a high degree of accuracy.
So, What are the Numbers on DNA Testing Kits?
The difficulty with finding numbers to support the accuracy of specific tests is that companies don’t share their precise methodologies and haven’t submitted to studies by independent scientists.
However, what most DNA testing companies test for are single nucleotide polymorphisms. And most companies claim they can detect these with 99.9% accuracy, which is perfectly plausible with modern science today.
The rule of thumb to make sure that you’re getting the most accurate results possible is to avoid companies that claim to be able to determine intelligence and other personality traits. This is impossible.
Stick to the companies that only claim to aid you in your search for lost family members, screening for genetic diseases, and discovering more about your heritage.
Last Word – DNA Tests are Becoming More Accurate
Since the size of the DNA database the company holds is a determining factor in your results, it’s inevitable that your results are only going to become more accurate as time goes on.
Reputable genetic testing companies will offer an online dashboard with continually updating results as the database does grow.
Have you taken a consumer DNA test before?