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15 Messed-Up Things That Happen During DNA Testing

One of the most popular things right now is DNA testing. Big companies are starting to make crazy amounts of money by studying people's DNA, and providing people with results that tell them all about their family's history, their true ethnicity, and their national origins. In the current age, it's easy to see why these services suddenly have so much appeal. Many people struggle with issues of self-identity. A DNA test might just give them some insight into their past which will help this problem. There are also many mixed race people right now, more so than ever before. A DNA test can inform them just where they come from, and give the answers they might have been seeking. Sometimes the things that happen during the process just aren't worth it.

But what really happens when you pay for a DNA test through one of these companies? While the excitement of learning about your past might seem too good to pass up, it's important to know all of the facts before you pay for this service. Because there's actually a lot of stuff people don't know about. There is a lot of sketchy business that needs to be addressed, and a lot of it is swept under the rug and people who pay for these services have no idea. The companies themselves like to keep quiet about some of these secrets. But the information is starting to come out, and some of it might actually shock you...

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15 Most Companies Sell Your Genetic Data To Other Companies

via gizmodo.com

If you read the fine print of most DNA testing companies, including the biggest ones, you will find that these companies sell your DNA to third parties. This is all part of the privacy policy and or terms of agreement that most people don't actually bother reading. So what does this actually mean? I'm sure most of you know by now that data is a very valuable commodity, and can be worth billions of dollars to certain people. These people are huge companies like Google, or in this case, big Pharma.

Why does big Pharma want your genetic code? The excuse they give is that they merely want to study it. Some companies might even claim that they are trying to cure certain genetic diseases and they're looking for a cure in the genetic codes of regular people. But what most people are worried about is the possibility that they might have more nefarious goals. Things like creating bioweapons or expensive vaccines are definitely a possibility, and that's only scratching the surface.

14 They Can Lie On Purpose About Your Heritage To "Make You Less Racist"

via: huffingtonpost.ca
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One story that has been making a lot of waves lately is a report which exposed one well-known DNA testing company for engaging in a very strange and questionable practice. One insider admitted that he had lied about an individual's DNA testing results, just to "teach a racist a lesson" and make try to make him less racist. While eliminating racism is definitely a good thing, lying about results is probably not something you want to be doing, especially if people are relying on DNA accuracy, and paying good money for it.

What basically happened was one guy went into a DNA testing service and bragged that there wouldn't be any black genes in his DNA, and warned the testers that "there better not be any Black DNA in him," or something along those lines. It wasn't a joke, and he was dead serious. So what the testers did is they altered the results to show a significant amount of black DNA, just to "teach him a lesson."

13 They Lie To Avoid Making People Angry

via: complex.com

In the same article, the insider of one of these huge DNA testing companies admitted that they often lie about results, not just in the case of teaching racists a lesson. There's another situation where they lie, and it's connected with the phrase "the customer is always right." This insider remembered one situation where a woman was very proud of her Irish heritage. She even sent her results to the company in a green envelope with Irish shamrocks and other decorations. She actually believed that she was 100% Irish, and wanted to confirm this suspicion.

But when the company tested her DNA, they found out the unthinkable. She had 0% Irish DNA. According to the results, not a single part of her, not one bone in her body, or a drop of her blood, was Irish. So what did they do? They lied. They said that she was mostly Irish, because they knew how much her cultural heritage meant to her. Because of instances like these, the testing is hardly reliable.

12 You Might Find Out You're A Product Of Inappropriate Family Relations

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Why do people get DNA testing done? It's usually because they hope to find out some thrilling secret about themselves. In their minds, they might think that they could be descended from royalty, or have Viking blood, or something equally as exciting. What most people don't understand is that there's also a chance they could find out a very different secret about themselves – something that would make most people sick. That's right, some people have found out through DNA testing that they are the product of inappropriate family relations.

This is often a family secret that gets swept under the rug, but DNA testing does not lie. They can pick up certain genetic markers that confirm it within a family. And more often than not, they reveal this fact to the people who get tested. So if you're paranoid about finding out something disgusting about your family, you might want to steer clear of DNA testing.

11 You Can Get Different Results Depending On Which Company You Go To

via: popsci.com

Many people have developed something of an obsession with DNA testing within the last few years. There's no denying that it's definitely very trendy right now, and it's become an industry worth billions of dollars. People are not only signing up for one DNA testing service, but also with numerous different services at the same time. And these people have noticed something very strange. Depending on the company, people seem to get different results. A person might have one company tell them they're 20% African, while another service will tell them they are 5% or even 0% African. So what gives?

The truth is that each company has their own separate database of genetic markers from which to compare genetic data to. That's the way this testing works – they just compare your genetic data to the data they already have and make inferences based on similar or different your DNA is to the genetic data of people they already have in their database. So because they each have different databases, you can get wildly different results based on which company you choose.

10 You Might Find Out One Of Your Parents Cheated

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But that's hardly the only secret you could find out about your family, or yourself. There are many other secrets that could potentially come to light after your DNA gets tested, and some of them might make you look at your family, more specifically your parents, in a whole new light. That's right, DNA testing can actually reveal that your parents cheated on each other, and this has actually happened in the past. The way this works is simple – the DNA test reveals that you are not actually related to your mom, meaning that your mother actually cheated on your dad without him knowing.

This can actually destroy families when the information gets out, so approach with caution. However, it doesn't always mean that your parents cheated. You might have been adopted and never told about it (in this case you wouldn't be related to either parent). Alternatively, you might be a product of a surrogate marriage and not know it.

9 It's Actually Not Very Accurate

via: dailymirror.co.uk

So far, one thing should have been made very clear – DNA testing is actually not very accurate. First of all you have the potential for DNA testing companies to actually lie about your results. Next, you have the fact that results can wildly different depending on which company you actually go to. And then there's the fact that DNA testing works by comparing your results to a database of existing DNA, which might be incomplete or give inaccurate results. Then there's the simple fact that nationality doesn't always mean the same thing as ethnicity, and vice versa. Just because your family was living in a certain country, doesn't mean they are the same ethnicity as the majority of that country.

In fact, if you talk to scientific researchers and experts in the genetic field, you will find that they've mostly dismissed the entire DNA testing industry. They say that it's so inaccurate that it's not even worth doing, and that you're more likely to get insights into your past by actually doing research and searching through your loft for clues about your family's past.

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8 They Could Potentially Make Race-Targeted Bio-Weapons

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We touched earlier on the fact that most big DNA testing companies actually sell your DNA to third parties, especially big pharmaceutical companies. This is where we're going to venture into some serious conspiracy theory territory. There are those that believe that big Pharma is buying up all of this genetic data in order to make race-specific bio-weapons. In other words, this genetic data could potentially be used to make some kind of virus that would wipe out one specific race, and leave the other ones untouched.

It's a terrifying thought, and one that you might think belongs in science fiction rather than reality. But the fact remains that with the incredible advances in genetic technology, it is a possibility. Who would want to do this? Conspiracy theorists say one world government types might use these weapons to rid the world of overcrowding. And the worse part is that we would never know.

7 Your DNA Could Be Used To Make A Vaccine Which Is Then Sold Back To You

via: pinterest.com

Another way in which big Pharma could profit off your DNA is in the vaccine business. This is another area rife with countless conspiracy theories, the likes of which you've probably heard a thousand times already. But interestingly enough, the DNA testing industry is strongly linked with the anti-vaccination crowd. When you think about it, they probably have a good reason to be concerned, too. The thing about big Pharma collecting our genetic data is that it puts them in a perfect position to create a vaccine that everyone will need.

Think about it. All they need to do is find one universal genetic vulnerability to a specific virus. Then, they find a minority of people who are immune to it. Then, they engineer a virus that is altered slightly in order to affect the majority of people. Then, they simply "accidentally" release the engineered virus, and charge the entire world an exorbitant fee to get vaccinated against it. And the worst part is, even if they use your DNA to create the vaccine, you don't see a dime of that money and it might even be sold to your children or your family members.

6 It's Harder For Women To Get A Complete Picture Of Their Heritage

via: familytreedna.com
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Another interesting fact about DNA testing is that it's actually slightly more accurate for men to get their DNA tested. This is because men are the only ones who have Y-DNA, or the DNA associated with the Y chromosome. This Y-DNA is only present in males, so men are the only ones who can accurately trace their male genetic lineage. Women can also do this, but it's simply less accurate. Autosomal DNA is the word for the DNA that is tested and present in both male and female subjects and ancestors. This is the most common type of DNA tested through major companies, and you actually have to pay more for Y-DNA testing.

So what do you do if you're a female and you want to get the most accurate DNA profile possible. While it might be impossible to test your Y-DNA, all is not lost. You can always get your brother to get tested as well, and by comparing both results you will be able to see your Y-DNA profile as well as your Autosomal one.

5 Courts Don't Recognize DNA Results

via: cnbc.com

You might think that a DNA test result is recognized universally as an indisputable fact. While this might be true in some corners of the scientific world, it's definitely not so in most courts of law. That's right, courts do not recognize DNA testing done through one of these companies as permissible evidence in court. So if you're taking a test in order to prove something or other about your family or your heritage, you might want to rethink that.

This really reveals just how inaccurate these DNA tests are considered by most educated people. The fact that the courts don't recognize them mean that someone is aware of how easily these results can be altered. There's also the fact that wildly different results can be obtained depending on which company you go to. This doesn't give these companies a lot of credibility.

4 You Might Not Have Any DNA Markers For Someone Even Two Generations In Your Past

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Still not convinced about the inaccuracy of these tests? Some of the leading geneticists and researchers have admitted that you might not even have any genetic markers from an ancestor even two generations in the past. While this might not seem possible, keep in mind that genetic markers are not the same thing as genes themselves. Genetic markers are what these DNA testing companies are looking for in order to compare you to other individuals they already have in their database. There's a strong chance you might not have any of the same genetic markers as your great-great grandparents, at least the ones that show up in their database.

This is why so many respected scientists are saying it's actually much better to simply do research into your family's background, rather than relying entirely on a DNA test. Finding an old picture of your family members or finding some reliable information might just tell you more about your family history.

3 Further DNA Testing May Lead To Designer Babies Becoming Real

via: explorebiotech.com

One of the most interesting things about the rise in popularity of DNA testing is the fact that it could lead to some stunning medical developments. One of these developments is the potential to make designer babies. For those who haven't heard about this, designer babies are essentially genetically engineered babies. For the longest time, they were confined to the realms of science fiction, but now they're becoming a real possibility in real life. As companies and researchers start to collect more and more genetic data as a result of people sending in their DNA samples, we will gain a greater understanding of what genes do what, and how to use that to our advantage.

Once we get a clearer picture of the human genome, we can use this knowledge to actually alter the genetic makeup of our babies so that we eventually have complete control over things like their appearance, their intelligence, and their vulnerability to certain diseases. There a few different methods in which this could be accomplished, but certain countries are already well on their way to making this a reality, particularly, China.

2 It Might Also Lead To The Curing Of Diseases

techonomy.com
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The thought of genetically engineered babies might be slightly unsettling, but there are some really important developments that can be made aside from just making our children beautiful, strong and intelligent. One of the few things the human race still has yet to conquer in the medical world is disease. Cancer, AIDS, and other diseases remain a major cause of death throughout the world, in many countries. Manipulation of the human genome might just be one of the few ways in which we can solve this problem.

As we collect more and more genetic data, researchers and geneticists might one day be able to figure out some kind gene therapy or a similar method that will prevent a whole range of diseases. In a few generations, all babies might be born with a natural genetic immunity to AIDS/HIV, Cancer, Alzheimer's, and many other diseases.

1 The More People That Get Tested, The More Accurate The Results Get

via: biotechin.asia

Putting aside conspiracy theories for a second, there's actually a lot to get excited about if you're one of the most optimistic people about the DNA testing industry. The simple fact is that the more people get their DNA tested, the more accurate the results become for everyone involved. This is because the database becomes larger, and so the people testing the DNA can compare people's genetic data to a wider range of genetic samples.

If this industry really takes off, and more people end up getting tested, the previous problems about accuracy might just be avoided. Additionally, researchers will have a much clearer picture of the general genetic makeup of the entire human race, and will be able to see data that would otherwise be impossible to gather. But the problem of whose hands this data actually falls into is still present.

Sources: popsci.com

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