DNA testing is a complicated field. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is one of the fundamental building blocks of nearly all living things. Humans have over 6 billion different ‘rungs’ of DNA which are presented in bundles known as chromosomes, of which we have 23 pairs.
The IBDNA describes DNA building blocks as ‘barcodes’, which is very apt as we require special machines to read these sequences of biological data. Whilst we don’t yet have the knowledge or technology to be able to examine all of our DNA, we are able to test a huge number of different DNA particles for thousands of different conditions. DNA testing is extremely complicated – but it’s also very necessary.
The Benefits of DNA Testing
DNA testing has given us the means to not only better understand our bodies and medical conditions, but to track the progression of and predict diseases and conditions before they manifest. This has given us a much better understanding of how to treat and manage certain conditions, and some conditions have even been eradicated almost entirely.
Understanding Faulty Genomes
DNA testing can be carried out at any point in a person’s life, but the advent of more sophisticated technology has meant that we can actually conduct DNA testing before a child is even born. Pre-natal DNA testing has actually become fairly common, especially when parents are aware of the possibility of their child carrying a faulty genome. This usually happens when an inheritable condition manifests further up the family tree – in a parent or grandparent, for example.
Providing Peace of Mind
Pre-natal DNA testing can therefore provide some measure of peace of mind for expectant parents, in that they are able to find out whether or not their child will be born with an impairment. In many cases, if an impairment is detected, the parents will then be in a better position to plan for the arrival of a baby who will have certain medical needs and requirements. In some sad cases, the parents may decide to terminate the pregnancy. This usually happens when it’s found that the child has an impairment which would make their quality of life unbearable. Although this type of situation is very sad, these parents often feel that pre-natal DNA testing has enabled them to make a better choice at a better time for both them and their child.