The latest trend – and an industry that is growing as we speak – is the industry of introspection. We have mindfulness apps and ways in which we can analyze our lives, who we are, and how we can better handle situations. Venture capitalists have turned their eyes to astrology and the ways in which the stars and our star signs can help divine our futures and explain our past and presents. Indeed, some millions have been invested into various apps and businesses that help you find ways in which you can uncover more about yourself.
The most prominent of these, one that serves as a personal level of introspection and as a gift to others, is DNA testing. The popularity of shows such as Who Do You Think You Are suggest ways in which we can uncover exciting or tragic backstories of our own families and heritages. But what can DNA testing tell you about your past, present, and future?
Unlocking Your Past with a DNA Testing Kit
DNA testing provides a way to look not just into your own recent past, but into the past of your heritage, your culture, and where you may sit within the communities of the past. Many use autosomal testing to survey more than 700,000 locations of your 23 pairs of chromosomes to find out which characteristics and inherited features are similar to the genetic make-up of the many different countries and areas of the world. Social media is awash with surprising revelations that prove just how connected we all are and how our present has largely been informed by our past – something which DNA testing endeavors to show you. The main focus of the DNA testing kit is to broadly – or sometimes more specifically – tell you what your genetic make-up is, which gives you an idea as to where you come from ancestrally.
Which DNA Testing Kit Works?
There are countless DNA testing kits available on the market, so consumers are skeptical as to which ones might give them the best results. Some are endorsed by celebrities, who have shared with their fans where their heritages are based by using such kits. These include Larry David, who found he was 37% Native American; Oprah Winfrey, who traced her ancestors back to the Kpelle People of the West African Highlands; and British actor Danny Dyer, who found himself related to royalty. Other DNA testing kits are endorsed by users, with their reviews helping potential customers to decide which kit to buy and which one might provide a better analysis of your genes. Reviews also help inform which ones give quicker results, which are cheaper, and how the software works – for instance, some have apps. The science isn’t yet exact, and while many people don’t know their exact genetic make-up, many have an idea as to what might be correct or not. Allowing other users’ experiences to help inform yours can help you find the right DNA testing kit.
DNA Testing and Your Future
While ultimately giving you information pertinent to your distant past and the heritage that you have, DNA testing kits can actually inform your future. Certain genetic make-ups are susceptible to certain diseases. Finding a larger percentage of a certain make-up could, therefore, mean you are more at risk than you anticipated. It could also give you the chance to combat potential illnesses beforehand with preventative measures. Some DNA testing kits have even won approval to allow you to test at home for certain inherited characteristics that could lead to serious illnesses, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which are prevalent in cases of cancer, including breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer. Testing for these genes could show you whether you have a higher risk of developing the disease, as well as informing you about your genetic make-up that could lead you to be susceptible to other diseases.
The Future of DNA Testing?
DNA testing has its limitations, but with the number of people interested in diving into their past and understanding their heritage, investments will likely be made to ensure that genetic science becomes more robust. Some companies have already teamed up with Airbnb in order to offer vacations to places that have appeared in your heritage. So, if you found Northern Spain in your heritage to a high degree, you could visit and investigate further. The more robust the testing becomes, the easier it’ll be to pinpoint locations more specifically so you can then take your research to the birth, marriage, and death records of the parish. Of course, the transitory nature of people throughout time could lead to surprising revelations once you begin to trace back.
DNA testing kits can tell us a lot about our lives. They can give answers to questions we didn’t realize we had about our pasts, they can help us decide how to live our lives in the present, and they can inform us on how to have a more successful and healthy future.