DNA testing is becoming more and more affordable and accessible to everyday consumers.You’ve probably noticed articles about it in the news and advertising for testing services on social media. You may be interested in being tested yourself. But with so many DNA products on the market, choosing one can be daunting.
Some DNA companies promote their product for identifying heritage, others emphasize using theirs to screen for a particular health issue, such as breast cancer. Those that offer whole genome sequencing, such as Sequencing.com, stress the comprehensiveness of their results.
So how do you know which test is right for you? It helps to understand the three types of DNA test providers and the differences between them.
- DNA testing companies, such as 23andMe and Ancestry, offer genotyping or microarray genetic testing–the analysis of your DNA to determine whether specific variants of interest are present. They created their tests specifically for ancestry/genealogy, but also offer some health information based on DNA data, such as how your DNA is linked to your physical features. To keep costs low, they analyze less than 0.1% of your DNA, looking at a limited number of genes that are most likely to shed light on ancestry.
- Laboratories and medical professionals offer clinical-grade whole genome sequencing, with the aim of analyzing the results for a specific health concern, such as breast cancer, epilepsy, or a rare inherited disease. Health professionals control the process from start to finish. Although your complete genome of 30,000 genes is sequenced and the resulting data could provide other types of genetic information you might want, the data are typically never used again.
- Whole genome sequencing direct-to-consumer companies, such as Dante Labs and Nebula Genomics, analyze 100% of your DNA just like medical laboratories do. The sheer amount of data can be overwhelming, and often these companies won’t let you download your own DNA data. Also, they frequently lack the technical infrastructure to help you take action and apply your raw data, leaving you to do the research on your own. However, if you are a citizen scientist, you may enjoy combing through the internet looking for ways to obtain interpretation of your raw DNA data.
Sequencing.com’s whole genome sequencing analyses 100% of your data, using CLIA certified laboratories. Our one-of-a-kind DNA platform gives you what you need to connect your DNA to scientific insights.
- Our bioinformatics pipeline is made up of an array of algorithms designed to provide you with highly accurate results.
- Our enhanced DNA report marketplace connects you with the latest DNA research by top scientists around the world by continually offering new ways to apply your raw DNA data.
- Our platform allows you to upload DNA data from almost any genetic test, including genotyping microarrays, exome sequencing, and whole genome sequencing. Once uploaded, you can apply your raw data to a wide range of genetic analysis applications and DNA reports in our marketplace.
Our Privacy Forever guarantee means your DNA data belongs to you. You can choose to securely store your data on our servers, or download it at any time.
And if you chose to get our whole genome sequencing service, there is no need to ever take another DNA test. Since your genome never changes, you have all you need for a lifetime of insights into your genetic code.
Dr. Brandon Colby MD is a US physician specializing in the personalized prevention of disease through the use of genomic technologies. He’s an expert in genetic testing, genetic analysis, and precision medicine. Dr. Colby is also the Founder of Sequencing.com and the author of Outsmart Your Genes.
Dr. Colby holds an MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and a degree in Genetics with Honors from the University of Michigan. He is an Affiliate Specialist of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG), an Associate of the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), and a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC).