Some people have a slightly negative view of DNA testing. However, it’s through DNA testing that doctors are able to predict certain genetic disorders (i.e., down syndrome) and intellectual issues (i.e., autism) in unborn babies. Scientists are even using genetic tests to proactively pinpoint inherited diseases—from colon cancer to cervical cancer—in patients. Welcome to the world of DNA testing, where you can find out if you’re descended from royalty, and even lose weight!
Here are four amazing reasons to get a DNA test
Are you royal?
Lorde sings, “And we’ll never be royals. It doesn’t run in our blood.” But maybe, just maybe royalty does run in your blood! And you can get a DNA test to find out. Research out of the University of Strathclyde, in Scotland, recently discovered a unique genetic marker that’s able to identify the direct descendants of King Robert III of Scotland or Robert the Bruce. But so what if you’re not of royal blood, a DNA test may reveal some really cool family facts, like a coat of arms or a story steeped in history.
Get your doggie’s DNA
Most pet owners have lost a favorite pair of shoes or piece of furniture to their furry friend. But do you know what makes your pooch so hungry for sneakers? DNA testing companies like Wisdom Pane and BioPet Vet Lab have developed the ability to test your mutt’s DNA for certain behavioral and health issues against over 190 other doggie breeds. A simple saliva sample can reveal specific health markers in your dog according to his or her genetic makeup. For instance, if a DNA test reveals that your mutt is part Labrador Retriever, he or she may be “predisposed” to chewing your belongings.
Many of us weren’t familiar with DNA testing as a health precaution before 2013, when actress Angelina Jolie discovered she had the BRCA1 gene. As a result, Jolie opted for a double mastectomy and surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent breast and ovarian cancers. Even though pinpointing a gene abnormality through genetic testing doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop certain diseases (i.e., ovarian, breast, and colon cancer), identifying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers can help give you time to make educated decisions regarding the future of your health.
The DNA diet
Did you know that scientific evidence suggests that our ability to lose and gain weight can be found in our genes? All jokes about the DNA diet aside, a study conducted by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles found that certain genes can predispose us to weight gain and loss. While the study was conducted on 100 laboratory mice, scientists were able to conclude that 80% of our ability to lose and gain body fat is controlled by our genes.
The aforementioned pointers are more than enough reason for you to take a deep-dive into your genetic makeup!