Genetic Testing Discovers

Peeking into the science of a individual’s cells may unlock answers to a variety of questions. For decades, scientists have used DNA testing to discover a wealth of information. From familial relations to lifestyle choices, DNA brings hidden secrets to light, opening up a vast array of legal implications for all parties involved on the road to discovery. Here is the history of DNA and five ways testing offers patients a glimpse into genetic makeup.


DNA is a material carrying genetic information that is distinct to the individual. In the 1920s, scientists discovered four human blood types. By the mid-70s, a new method of tissue typing helped scientists identify biological relationships. The first DNA genetics test occurred in the mid-80s. In paternity tests, scientists compare sections of parent and child DNA. Biological relation is determined when the child’s DNA matches half with the mother and half with the father. The process is 99.99 percent accurate in determining paternity. By the 1990s, DNA was recognized as the standard for paternity testing. Today, the field is expanding to include a wide variety of applications.


Paternity testing may occur for many legal reasons, such as custody, birth certificate, and child support. Contract management protects all parties, due to the sensitive nature of these tests. Having this type of trust is vital for DNA testing programs, both in terms of getting government approval and winning public trust. Surprise audits are regular and strong record keeping is essential.

Globally, companies offer onsite testing services to ensure accurate results in proof of paternity cases. Once collected, the DNA is a reviewed by medical professionals and the samples carefully handled during processing. For verification, companies offer online access to results for legal stakeholders and mail a legal document with the results to all parties tested. In general, DNA test results are kept confidential.


Genetic testing centers often provide other services, including those related to fertility and birth. Gender tests may verify he baby’s gender weeks before an ultra sound. A patient who has undergone a vasectomy may test whether or not it was successful. Couples may also test a man’s sperm count to gauge reproductive health.


When no other form of evidence is available to confirm a biological relationship of an immigrant, applicants turn to DNA testing to speed up the application process. Genetic testing verifies sibling relations, paternity, or maternity. For immigration purposes, genetic testing is an accepted form of proof that the relationship exists and may expedite the immigration process.


Some have found DNA is a vital aid in tracking ancestry. Using cutting-edge technology, scientists may pinpoint a person’s ancestry to a specific area or group. In fact, some tests may show the customer which populations most resemble his genetic material and in some cases identify a specific town or origin.


Using genetics to improve health outcomes has expanded to include identifying food sensitivity, skin care, and optimal weight.

Testing has come a long way since four blood types were discovered in the early 1920s. Just a century later, scientists are testing DNA to answer a wide range of questions. These results are giving people the information that they need to identify ancestry, paternity, and health care management. The next century may unlock the even more expansive potential of genetic testing.