About DNA Analysis

By Contributing Writer
About DNA Analysis
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DNA analysis is possible thanks to modern genetic-testing techniques. The process is extremely complicated and involves more than 25,000 genes of the human genome and the human chromosomes. Analysis allows us to take an accurate look into someone's ancestry, as well as determine weaknesses and susceptibilities toward inherited diseases.

Function

DNA analysis comes from the program of genetic consultation. The investigative technology and research has created a network of labs, medical geneticists, genetic counselors and primary care doctors. The DNA analysis begins with a sample of skin, hair, blood or amniotic fluid. The sample will then be used to run a full DNA profile. The profile, combined with knowledge of the patient's health record and family history, can bring many diagnoses.

Type

Newborns can be checked via DNA analysis for certain genetic disorders like phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism. Chromosomal analysis is a diagnosis test for possible genetic disorders. Carrier testing identifies individuals who carry a copy of a gene mutation. If both mother and father are carriers of a gene mutation, the child is at risk for a genetic disorder. Prenatal DNA testing allows doctors to identify inherited disorders and birth defects before the child is born.

Benefits

The benefits of DNA analysis can be life saving. Early testing of newborns can identify disorders for early treatment. Diagnostic testing at any age can identify genertic conditions and diseases that can be treated. Prenatal testing can identify mutations and help couples decide whether to abort. DNA testing can also be used in forensics to determine biological relationships, identifty crime victims or rule out suspects. It's also beneficial in genetic research to study unknown genes and learn about genetic diseases and conditions.

Evolution

The origins of DNA analysis can be traced to the start of the human genome project. At that point, scientists were able to begin piecing together which sections of DNA influenced specific diseases and inherited disorders. Since then, scientists and doctors have devised systems of interpreting the large amounts of data in DNA testing. Each year, more and more discoveries are made that expand the power of DNA testing and its preventive and diagnostic capabilities.

The Facts

Billions of dollars are spent annually on DNA testing and research. For individuals, the average price for a DNA analysis ranges from $100 to over $3,000. Many private health insurance plans cover DNA testing as long as the doctor recommends it. Although this science is powerful and somewhat controversial, the United States government does not allow genetic information discrimination.