Benefits Of Genetic testing
Genetic testing is a kind of a medical test, which aids in identifying alterations in genes, chromosomes, or proteins. In genetic testing, a DNA sample of the patient is analyzed for determining numerous potential characteristics. The patient just needs to give a sample from his or her body which contains strands of DNA. These samples might be blood, saliva or urine of the patient. Analysis of the test done on the sample helps in determining particular information related to the chromosomes, which constitute the genes. Every person has a total of 46 chromosomes arranged in pairs of two each, thus resulting in 23 pairs of chromosomes. These chromosomes are responsible for determining the gender, appearance and other inherited traits of a person. Genetic testing is done only when the person concerned volunteers for it, but the decision is a complex one as there are many social and emotional aspects related to it. Hundreds of genetic tests are presently in use, and many are being developed so that humans and other living beings get benefitted by them.
1. Paternity tests of children.
The most common situation where genetic testing is done is for identifying the father of a child and is better known as paternity test. This test falls under the category of genetic testing known as DNA fingerprinting. Such a test is done under law to solve crimes. The government carries out such tests to identify dead military personnel who otherwise are unidentifiable. Among the common masses, it is usually used as a paternity test for determining the paternal parent of a child. As every pair of chromosomes has one each from the mother and father, the test can be used to determine both the original father and mother of a child.
2. Forecasting of future diseases
There are numerous diseases and physical disorders, which are not obvious at the time of birth. Often, problems like certain kinds of cancers do not appear until the person attains a certain age. In cases where there is a history of genetic disorder in a family, genetic testing is helpful to finding whether these traits have been passing down from one generation to the next. For instance, if a person knows that he or she has a higher risk of cancer, then certain lifestyle changes can be made to inhibit the beginning of future maladies.
3. Hereditary disorders.
Majority of cases genetic testing are done to find changes associated with hereditary disorders that are passed from one generation to the next. The outcome of a genetic test helps in confirming or ruling out a suspected genetic disease or condition. It also helps to determine an individual’s chance of developing and passing on a hereditary disorder to the next generation.
4. Benefits to future children.
Genetic testing can help in determining the risk associated with transferring a genetic disease to the children of the deceased. Pregnant women are tested for the occurrence of a particular disease such as Down’s syndrome in the fetus.
In many countries, all newborns are tested for genetic abnormalities such as phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism. In case the test is positive for a disorder, immediate care and treatment is given to the patient.
There are so many benefits of genetic testing that it has become a solution to most problems which cannot be solved by other methods.