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Can a DNA test be wrong?

From prosecuting the wrong person for a crime to giving misleading information about genetic risk factors for illness, the consequences of errors in DNA testing can be severe and long-lasting. A combination of human error, computer problems, incorrect coding and faulty assumptions can all add up to significant problems with DNA testing, making specific quality control standards highly important.

Yes this is possible. No test is 100% foolproof. DNA tests are just better than any of the other tests out there.

Most people assume that all DNA paternity tests are the same, and it doesn’t matter where you get your DNA test done. That could not be farther from the truth.

And there are other ways to mess up one of these tests as well. This is why it is so important to find the right company to do a paternity test. If you suspect this sort of error, your best bet is probably just to have a test redone, possibly with another company.

DNA testing services promise to help answer these questions. Today, multiple at-home ancestry DNA kits can find long-lost relatives, estimate your ethnic ancestry, or show where your ancestors came from tens of thousands of years ago.

Ancestry DNA

AncestryDNA is an excellent DNA test for a couple of reasons. For one, it has the largest DNA database out there because it’s tested the DNA of more than 10 million people. This improves the accuracy of its estimates and also makes the likelihood of finding relatives much higher. Secondly, AncestryDNA regularly updates its ethnicity estimates with new DNA samples to refine the accuracy of its results. So for the one-time fee of $99 you can expect to see your results become more accurate as the years go on.

Its biggest shortcoming is that it costs the same price as 23andMe but only tests autosomes instead of also testing mtDNA and yDNA. That means AncestryDNA will not be able to provide you with details on your ancient ancestors.

Even though AncestryDNA’s service might be simpler, it’s impressive and refined. The full-screen interactive map was great to use, and looking over the vast number of DNA matches in its system makes you realize how we share pieces of our identity with so many other people.

MyHeritage DNA

For $79, MyHeritage DNA offers a robust service at the most affordable price. (Be on the lookout for regular promotions that bring the price down to $59.) MyHeritage DNA is in many ways like Ancestry DNA, since it estimates your ethnic heritage via your autosomes and matches you with relatives who share DNA with you.

But there’s one key difference: It’s tested more people living in Europe than the United States. This has its advantages for Americans looking to connect with long-lost relatives across the Atlantic. However, one downside is that MyHeritage’s database only has more than 1.5 million people in it, compared to more than 10 million in Ancestry’s

LivingDNA

LivingDNA is one of the most advanced DNA tests, offering more detail than its competitors. LivingDNA’s 3-in-1 ancestry test fully explores your maternal and paternal ancestry. You can view your results online or in print, both of which put your history into context by showing where your ancestors were at different points in history. You can get a break down of each familial line from across 80 regions worldwide and discover the geographical history of your family with a clear and easy-to-understand report.

LivingDNA is always expanding and adding new features, such as family matches, which gives you the ability to find and connect with relatives you may not have known existed. All information is kept confidential and secure, and the company goes beyond the leading quality and security standards.

Vitagene

With most DNA testing services focusing on family history and lineage, Vitagene focuses on health. It’s a lifestyle DNA test that lets you learn about your past in order to shape your future.

With a painless cheek swab, the test results can tell more about yourself with detailed ethnic percentages and origins. Using this information, your results can also tell you the best exercise plan for your body. You will get a plan tailored to your DNA, including ideal activities and ways to reach your weight loss goals. Additionally, the results can tell you which vitamins and supplements you’re lacking, and which foods you should try to avoid. Vitagene takes a healthy approach to DNA testing by crafting a personalized plan to fit your DNA and lifestyle.

23andMe

23andMe goes past the standard ancestry test and can also offer you an extensive look at your personal health, including genetic diseases that you may have to look out for. It can also spot things such as lactose intolerance, your muscle composition, and even to what extent your DNA includes Neanderthal DNA (if you ever wondered). With the Ancestry package, you can opt into the “relatives tool”, which allows you to connect with other users and find people who may have DNA that indicates a family connection with you.

The ancestry test can check your ancestry percentages down to .1% and can tell you which parts of your DNA come from 31 populations across the globe. The results are posted online to access securely and privately, usually within 6-8 weeks of you shipping it in. The company website includes tutorials that can walk you through all of the features very easily.

Choosing between the various DNA testing companies is both exciting and nerve-wracking. In order to correctly choose the right one for yourself, pinpoint what you’re looking to gain from the test results.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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