“Genes are like the story, and DNA is the language that the story is written in.”
A story is like a mystery till the plot unfolds/ The same is the case with your genes. We are unaware of what is going to pass to our next generation in the form of our genes. The mystery is only apparent when genetic testing is done.
To begin with, let us understand the term – genetic testing. It is a type of medical test which helps in understanding the changes in the genes or chromosomes. Furthermore, it helps in identifying the genetic susceptibility to particular diseases or abnormalities. More than 1,000 genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed.
There are several methods available for genetic testing –
- Molecular genetic tests (or gene tests) study single genes or short lengths of DNA to identify variations or mutations that lead to a genetic disorder.
- Carrier testing is used to identify people who carry one copy of a gene mutation that, when present in two copies, causes a genetic disorder.
- Another method is prenatal testing. As the name suggests, it involves detecting changes in the fetus’s genes or chromosomes before birth. This type of test is done during pregnancy to identify if there is an increased risk that the baby will have a genetic or chromosomal disorder in the long run. To treat the genetic disorder early after birth, a method called ‘newborn screening’ is used.
Genetics testing has a rich history
The scientific history of genetics began with the works of Gregor Mendel in the mid-19th century. Before Mendel, genetics was primarily theoretical, whilst, after Mendel, the science of genetics was broadened to include experimental genetics. Developments in all fields of genetics and genetic technology in the first half of the 20th century provided a basis for later developments. The variety of genetic tests available nowadays have expanded throughout the years. It’s now becoming more and more common for patients to avail themselves the option of genetic tests in order to assess the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, breast cancer and other conditions – especially If there is a family history.
Driving the change is the advent of personalized medicine, which has, in turn, reduced costs for genomic sequencing. Additionally, an explosion in the number of reliable labs and increased consumer comfort has led to a boom in the industry.
Treading uncharted waters
While genetic testing is gaining traction, the interest in using genetic testing to encourage health and wellness is another increasingly popular market. Given the industry’s unprecedented growth, it was only a matter of time before genetic testing for medicine would be paired with preventive healthcare and counselling. For instance, K&H offers genetic testing with health coaching. To initiate the process, customers go through the initial consultation that involves their blood, DNA, and a question-answer session. Once the results are in, they are paired with a relevant health counsellor that would first interpret the results and then offer lifestyle suggestions and medicines. It is this approach to personalized medicine that can help customers determine the best diet and effective lifestyle changes that would make a difference to their overall health.
In the process of making the whole procedure more detailed, many developments have been made, which include the fields of molecular genetics and genomics, which can identify changes at the level of individual genes, parts of genes, or even single nucleotide “letters” of a DNA sequence. According to some reports, as of 2017, “there were 75000 genetic tests on the market.”
Genetic testing is voluntary as it comes with some risks and limitations of its own. One has to make many complex decisions to decide whether to take the test or not finally. A geneticist or genetic counsellor can help by providing information about the pros and cons of the test and discussing the social and emotional aspects of testing. For more information about genetic testing, reach out to https://khdreamlife.com/ today!