DNA genealogical tests have become quite popular in the past few years and an increasing number of people from across the globe are participating in the test in the quest to find out more about their ancestry and origin. While this sounds fun and exciting, there are very real implications that need serious consideration before taking the final step.
DNA allows you to find your ancestry, and more!
The major reasons behind the high popularity of the DNA ancestry tests are the ease of getting the kit online, ease of sending the sample, and the thrill and excitement of knowing something that has not been revealed till date.
But, not everyone is ready for all the implications. Most of the time we don’t even give it serious thought and get the kit as a means of fun and some excitement. However, you got to know what you are signing up for.
What harm can a small swab of the cheek or a little saliva do?
It’s just a small swab from the interior of your mouth or a little amount of saliva that you are sending, right? How much information will it actually reveal? Let’s break that myth. Your saliva is among the most potent sources of high-quality genomic DNA.
Your saliva can tell as much about you as your blood will. There is a large number of white blood cells available from the saliva sample itself and that gives high-quality genomic DNA that can even allow whole gene sequencing. So, next time you think of spitting, remember how much information you are giving out!
It is merely an ancestry test
Even if your saliva is being used solely for the purpose stated, are you absolutely sure that you wish to know all about the past? Remember this, when you are opting for ancestry test, you are not merely looking into your past, you are actually unearthing the past of your entire family. It is best to sit and discuss your decision of taking the test before actually doing so. Let’s be honest, we all have past and not everyone is comfortable with bringing up the past. The ancestry DNA test will potentially do just that.
I am protected by privacy laws
Among the major concerns, the one with opting for DNA test is in terms of privacy. However, there are many who take solace in the thought that their privacy is protected by the laws of the country. While the laws will be in effect till your sample is being used by a company within the country if the organization you are sharing your DNA with is located in any different country then you will no longer be protected by privacy rights laws of your own country.
Privacy breach has been a concern in the recent past. While leaking of user data can be quite inconvenient and unsettling for most of us, but breach of genomic data has serious implications. Your genome can reveal your tendency towards having one or another disease or can simply connect you to any perpetrator. Both can lead to discrimination by the authority.
Do I stay away from DNA genealogy test?
Having said everything, there are always organizations such as CRI Genetics that have upheld the trust of the participants and have a more transparent policy. It is best to know about the organization you will be trusting your DNA with. After all, we can’t really ask you to stay away from this altogether, when curiosity drives us as well!