We Got Our DNA Tested, Here’s How It Actually Works

Trace and Amy get their DNA test results, and we talk to an expert about how scientists actually get genetic information out of DNA.

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How does DNA testing work?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/20205874
“Parental, forensic and genetic testing look for similarities in the genetic markers between two biological samples. Because all cells in the body contain exactly the same DNA, samples can be taken from almost anywhere in the body, including skin, hair follicles, blood and other bodily fluids.”

How is genetic testing done?
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/testing/procedure
Once a person decides to proceed with genetic testing, a medical geneticist, primary care doctor, specialist, or nurse practitioner can order the test. Genetic testing is often done as part of a genetic consultation. Genetic tests are performed on a sample of blood, hair, skin, amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds a fetus during pregnancy), or other tissue.

The family history: the first genetic test, and still useful after all those years?
http://www.nature.com/gim/journal/v14/n1/full/gim0b013e3182310bcfa.html#ref-link-16
“The family history has its origins in genealogy and over the past century has become embedded in clinical practice. Its importance in specialized circumstances is unquestioned but largely untested. Moreover, the relevance of the family history to common diseases, especially in an era of genomic markers that convey risk and the emphasis on ‘personalized medicine,’ must be given careful scrutiny.”

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Written by: Trace Dominguez

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