- Cheap DNA Testing ˆ the differences
Cheap DNA Testing ˆ the differences
With the advent of detailed knowledge about the human genome, genetic testing has entered popular consciousness. Whether it is deciding the paternity of a contested child, or looking out for early signs of hereditary disease, genetics are now at the forefront of medical science, replacing more old fashioned methods like blood testing with a surprising efficiency. As is the case with any advance in science, it has had an impact on the way people approach their health.
The Internet is awash with offers of cheap DNA testing. For under £100, these kits claim to offer a reliable paternity test that makes the process easy and painless. At the chemists, a DNA testing kit can be bought for less than half of this price. As DNA testing becomes more popular, many people are tempted by these bargain rates.
The ease of access to the kits is a key component in their popularity. Paternity testing is not always about legal rights, but for the peace of mind of one or both parent: their proliferation is a reflection of how important this security is.
There are a few drawbacks to the cheap DNA testing decision. First of all, the cheap DNA testing that can be brought over the counter is not the same as a paternity test that can stand up as evidence in a court of law. Despite the high drama of shows like Jeremy Kyle, where a DNA test seems to prove paternity, only an approved test by a doctor is recognised by judges.
There is also the question of accuracy. In the past few years, genetics have become the key area of scientific research, and so it has become fashionable to look for genetic solutions to medical and social problems. Nevertheless, cheap DNA testing often cuts corners, not checking against all the variables, and offering a less than 100 per cent accuracy. While this might be fine in most situations, the fraught nature of a paternity test is not a place for margins of error.
The difference always comes down to the thoroughness of the procedure, and anyone considering DNA testing would do well to investigate the technology being used. There is also the question of additional, hidden costs: the over the counter kit might be tempting, but it often charges extra for analysis.
The biggest differences in DNA testing do not necessarily come with the actual kit: it is the aftercare that counts. The turnaround time can be different- the importance of this, of course, depends on the urgency of the situation.
DNA testing works by comparing the parents’ DNA to the child’s, identifying a consistent pattern in the sequence of the four constituent bases. Some DNA testing kits add additional steps, check more genetic regions or have a specialist approach when treating the DNA. These, however, are not always reflected in the price: yet they will impact on accuracy.
Ultimately, a DNA testing kit is most effective if it tests both the mother and the potential father: in many case, this makes the test absolutely accurate.