5 Most Common Uses Of DNA Testing

Doctor looking at the DNA in a microscope

5 Most Common Uses Of DNA Testing

DNA testing is one of the miracles of modern science that has enabled a wide range of essential and non-essential services to develop. This profiling method expertly traces someone’s biological source code and has had a profound effect on how we understand the individuality of humans, our past, and our future as a species.

Let’s examine the 5 most common ways DNA testing has been used throughout society.

1.   Archaeology

DNA testing has famously been used to track the history of humans and other living organisms through the passage of time. This evidence is the key component behind the modern understanding of the theory of evolution, showing the close link between other mammals and humans in terms of the makeup of our genetic code. The origin of the species is now well-understood thanks to this method of scientific examination.

This has meant that DNA testing is one of the cornerstones of modern scientific understanding of biology and how all life on earth is descended from a common ancestor. It makes it one of the most potent pieces of evidence for evolution and is a crucial reason why religiosity is decreasing around the world at a steady rate.

2.   Paternity exams

Man getting a swab test for DNA paternity test

Paternity DNA testing is another everyday use that is essential in today’s legal system. It is used in determining who the real father of a child is when there is a dispute for legal reasons or otherwise. The consequences of this kind of examination can bring both good and bad news to different parties, but it is a neutral service that helps people discover the truth.

Because of the implications of these results, the result of paternity DNA test is the most often challenged. This is because certain people don’t want to bear the consequences of the examination contradicting their personal belief of a child’s genetic origin (for example, a man who is determined to be the father may dispute the findings if they don’t want responsibility for the child).

3.   Predicting health conditions in infants

DNA testing is also commonly used to predict if an infant has certain health conditions. For example, genetic abnormalities like down syndrome or high-risk to certain types of cancer can be detected in an unborn fetus.

With this information, parents can make informed decisions about the future of their child. This includes knowing about the predisposition to certain types of cancer and then taking the appropriate measures to ensure regular examinations are done from an early age in order to minimise the risk as much as possible.

4.   Criminal investigations

DNA testing is also famously used in criminal investigations to determine the guilt of individuals. It is like an invisible footprint that is left behind on crime scenes that is very difficult for criminals to avoid leaving behind (skin, hair, and bodily fluids can all be examined). Many cases that were labelled as unsolved in the past have since been solved thanks to the power of this examination method.

Many criminals who thought they got away with it have been taken into custody thanks to DNA testing. It is one of the most commonly used methods in many of the top crime shows, most famously CSI and NCIS.

5.   Family ancestry

DNA testing has been enormously influential when it comes to family ancestry. It can be used to reconnected family lineages and help people find out who they really are in a historical context. Some people have even used their discoveries to claim inheritances they didn’t know they were entitled to or discover that they had indigenous heritage.

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