California Case Raises Questions About DNA Safety

A recent California case has raised many alarming questions regarding the security of genetic information databases, who has access to them, and for what purposes.

The case involves the genetic information of a woman who was raped in 2016. But police didn’t use genetic information to find the woman’s rapist; no–police used the woman’s rape information to implicit her for another crime.

The woman in question was raped in 2016 and allowed her genetic information to be gathered to convict her rapist. Collecting the victim’s genetic information is standard procedure in these cases to determine the difference between the victim’s and criminal’s DNA. Further, the victim’s and criminal’s DNA is held in separate databases.

However, without her consent, the San Francisco police placed this woman’s genetic information in a database for suspected criminals.

Then, in 2021, genetic information gathered at an unrelated burglary flagged this woman as a potential suspect. Horrified, the prosecutor dropped the case once he learned of the DNA origin. But that hasn’t stopped people from worrying about the safety of their DNA.

DNA Paternity Testing knows the importance of protecting your privacy. We are not a direct-to-consumer company that makes an extra profit by selling your DNA to a pharmaceutical or food company. We keep your genetic information locked away, following all HIPAA safety standards. You can feel confident releasing your DNA to us.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity, and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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Is My DNA Safe?

Is My DNA Safe?

More than 26 million people worldwide have taken DNA tests. Over the years, genetic testing has evolved from ancestral discovery and curiosity to promises of finding the perfect diet for your genes or predispositions to certain diseases or cancer.

Most people use a direct-to-consumer company like Ancestry.com or 23andMe. With these companies, you purchase a test kit, spit into a tube, and mail your test to the company. A few weeks later, you’ll receive your results, which vary in detail depending on which test kit you purchased.

For most of us, the fun is over once the high of your results has worn off (for adoptees or refugees, their search may just be beginning). You’ll rarely think of your results again. But what does the company do with your genetic information?

The answer to this question may shock you. Once you have submitted your genetic information, it is no longer yours, and your privacy has been breached. The company essentially owns your DNA. Most companies don’t require your consent to share your information with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and even if they did, they reserve the right to change their policies at any time.

In 2018, GlaxoSmithKline paid 23andMe $300 million dollars for genetic information.  FamilyTreeDNA admited in 2019 that it gave genetic information to the FBI. There have also been countless database breaches, such as the breach to DNA Diagnostics Center in 2021.

The bottom line is that direct-to-consumer genetic companies are not careful with your genetic information. But DNA Paternity Testing has the highest privacy standards, so you can rest assured your DNA is safe with us.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity, and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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How to Protect Your Genetic Information

Sisters Reunited After DNA Test

In 2018, DNA home test company MyHeritage gave away 15,000 test kits to adoptees to support their reunification with their biological families. The initiative, called DNA Quest, reunited countless individuals, including sisters Ashleigh Brown and Laurinda Collado.

Both sisters were born in the Dominican Republic to the same biological parents. Brown was adopted at 5 months old and grew up in Connecticut. Two years later when Collado was born, Brown’s parents were approached to adopt her. Brown’s parents turned down the offer and Collado was adopted at 6 weeks old and grew up in Barbados.

Brown and Collado each knew they had biological siblings, and they both feared they would never meet them. When DNA Quest was launched, Brown signed up.

Brown’s genetic results revealed a close match, but she thought it was only an aunt or cousin. But after emailing Collado, she discovered it was her sister!

The two spoke on the phone for two weeks and then decided to meet up in Canada.

Collado said, “My relationship with my sister is everything I have ever hoped and dreamed of. Not only is she my sister, but she is also my best friend.”

But there was more news for Brown! Collado had tracked down their entire biological family who still lived in the Dominican Republic. She had even flown to meet them. Now that she had her sister, her search was finally over.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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How to Protect Your Genetic Information

Unauthorized DNA Database in New York

New York has a state DNA database that stores the DNA information of convicted criminals. The database is under the control of the FBI and New York’s State Commission on Forensic Science. No one has access to the DNA records except government officials.

However, information has leaked that there is a separate, unauthorized DNA database that skirts government control. Alarmingly, this database stores thousands of New Yorker’s genetic information. These profiles are of individuals with no criminal record, and some of them are children 12 years old. The database is called the “Subject Index.”

Genetic information for the Subject Index has been acquired in various ways. For instance, one 12-year-old boy was suspected of a crime. During his interview, the interviewers gave him a soda to drink with a straw. They later extracted his DNA from the straw. Neither the boy nor his parents knew about this.

Although the boy’s DNA didn’t match the DNA at the crime scene, his DNA was still put in the Subject Index. It stayed there for over a year. Unfortunately, this poor boy became a perpetual suspect in crime investigations; his DNA was evaluated against thousands of crime scene DNA samples until his parents filed a lawsuit to have his profile removed from the database.

It’s more imperative than ever to guard our genetic information and only submit your DNA to a company you trust.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity, and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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Does DNA Influence Gut Health?

 

Family Reunited At Last

Matthew Robertson has hardly ever celebrated Mother’s Day.

Robertson was adopted at birth, but his adoptive mother passed away when he was six years old. However, over forty years and a DNA test later, Robertson was able to celebrate Mother’s Day with his biological mother.

Robertson began his search for his parents when he was in his twenties. He hired a private investigator who found his adoption decree. The decree included the name of his mother–Mary Judith Vaughn–and a description of each parent, including height, weight, and hair color.

It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

Nearly thirty years passed, and Robertson received an AncestryDNA test kit for Father’s Day in 2020. He submitted the kit and got in touch with the cousin he matched with. He asked about Mary Judith Vaughn, who asked their family members about the name.

A few weeks later, his cousin sent a picture of Mary Judith, who was indeed Robertson’s mother.

Robertson reached out to Mary Judith, who now goes by Judy Llyod, via Facebook, but she needed time to adjust to the news. However, they soon connected with a phone call that quickly led to Lloyd visiting Robertson at his home in California.

Robertson and Lloyd had an almost immediate bond, and it is one that has continued to grow.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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What Happens to DNA Submitted to DTC Companies?

Can DNA Kits Predict Your Death?

Direct-to-consumer DNA companies have advertised their test kits can do many things, from finding your ideal diet to predicting future diseases. Now, Dante Labs claims to have created a DNA kit that can predict your death and how to prevent it.

Dante Labs capitalizes on genome sequencing. According to Explore BioTech, genome sequencing analyzes DNA for “genetic diseases, gene therapy-based treatments, genetic engineering, and gene manipulation.”

Dante Labs uses genome sequencing to determine a patient’s likelihood of disease or what medications work best for their genetic makeup. They claim this will, in essence, determine someone’s cause of death and how they can prevent it.

This is an understandable claim: if you can predict a disease, you can potentially prevent it from happening. While genetic technology has undoubtedly made advancements, this promise stretches a bit too far. Genetic testing cannot determine your cause of death or how to prevent it because millions of factors play into the development of disease.

Although genetics play a factor, disease is not caused merely by genetics. For instance:

  • Diet – You are what you eat! Those who focus on nourishing foods have better health.
  • Exercise – Moving your body daily improves your mental, physical, and spiritual state.
  • Stress – Stressful jobs or lifestyles pushes your body to its maximum, which causes susceptibility to disease.
  • Living environment – The cleanliness of your home can affect your health.
  • Toxic exposure – Certain occupations, such as construction or healthcare, have higher levels of toxin or disease exposure.

So while genetic testing may offer some insights into your genetic makeup, take it with a grain of salt. There’s much more to living a healthy life than knowing what cards you were dealt genetically.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity, and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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How to Protect Your Genetic Information

 

Mother Reunited with Son After Birth

As the saying goes, mother always knows.

After a three-year battle, a mother is finally reunited with her son. But this isn’t an ordinary reunification story.

On May 3, 2019, a woman named N Khanam gave birth to a boy at a medical college in Barpeta, India. Shortly after the delivery, Khanam had severe breathing issues. Her son also began to decline and needed emergency medical intervention, so he was transferred to the NICU. Later, the hospital staff informed Khanam that her son had died.

The grieving couple initially refused to take home the body but eventually changed their mind. But when the body was given to them, they claimed the child wasn’t theirs. Khanam returned to the hospital three days postpartum and found that another woman–with the name N Khutan–had given birth to a son at the same time as Khanam.

Khanam immediately filed a police case, claiming that the hospital had accidentally switched babies.

Nearly three years later when the case came to court, the judge ordered a DNA test to determine the child’s parentage. Khutan and her husband readily agreed, believing the child was theirs. However, the results showed that it was Khutan’s son who had died in the NICU. The child was returned to Khanam and her husband.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

What’s Next

How to Protect Your Genetic Information

 

DTC Give Confusion to Physicians and Consumers

The direct-to-consumer take-at-home DNA test kits has been a booming industry for many years. Recent projections predict that the global market for these test kits will surpass $10 billion by 2028.

Almost all take-at-home kits include ancestry but many of them are now branching out to other areas of DNA discovery, such as predicting future diseases or anticipating reactions to certain drugs.

However, these tests do not perform a comprehensive analysis of genetic information and are therefore inaccurate. For instance, some DNA kits examine only three of the thousands of genetic factors that cause cancerous mutations. No matter the results, a consumer will draw inaccurate conclusions from the test that could be detrimental to their health.

When a consumer receives troubling results from their DNA test, they usually follow up with their physician. However, this is equally as problematic because physicians don’t know how to interpret genetic testing. Physicians may placate their patients by ordering tests, but these may be unnecessary and a waste of money since the test’s conclusions may be inaccurate.

Anyone who undergoes genetic testing to discover anything more than ancestry should follow up with a genetic counselor. Genetic counselors are trained in interpreting genetic data and determining which tests may be necessary.

Parentage and ancestry genetic testing are highly accurate and don’t need interpretation. You can get tested and not worry about following up with a genetic counselor.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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DNA Kits on Sale – Are They Worth It?

Do Genetics Affect COVID Severity?

A new study has revealed genetic similarities between those who battle blood clots and faulty inflammatory responses with more severe cases of COVID-19.

Scientists used data from the Million Veteran Program, one of the largest and most diverse biobanks in the world. Scientists were able to examine the various DNA pieces that could be exploited by COVID-19.

Researchers examined whether other health conditions were associated with the variants of severe COVID-19. They analyzed about 1,500 disease traits that were present in the electronic health record.

Researchers found that the ABO locus, a gene’s position on a chromosome, was associated with severe cases of COVID-19. The study found that “patients with these variants were 33% more likely to have conditions like venous embolism and thrombosis, which both involve blood clots.”

Additionally:

  • Those with African ancestry were 29% more likely to have neutropenia, which is a low white blood cell count.
  • Those with European ancestry did not have an increase in neutropenia associated with severe COVID-19 cases.

While genetics can certainly play a part in the severity of COVID-19 cases, genetics are not the only factors at work. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, and clean living environments are crucial to staying healthy and reducing the severity of disease.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity, and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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Does DNA Influence Gut Health?

DNA Changes Increase Cancer Susceptibility

As science continues to evolve, there have been clues about genetic changes and susceptibility to cancer.

Now, a research team at the Sloan Kettering Institute has found evidence of a change in human DNA after diverging from other primates that make humans more likely to develop cancerous tumors.

The team published their paper in Cell Reports where they compared human DNA with non-human DNA.

The research team found a small difference in the BRCA2 gene, which is a factor in tumor suppression. BRCA2 gene helps code for DNA repair. Scientists believe this change occurred after humans diverged from other primates.

The findings of the study confirm prior research that humans with a certain BRCA2 variant are more likely to develop tumors, especially breast and ovarian tumors.

Another interesting finding is that women with BRCA2 have increased fertility rates. While these women have the blessing of fertility, they are also more susceptible to cancer.

With every new genetic study, scientists are getting closer to discovering the correlations between DNA and health conditions. However, science is simply not there yet. In the meantime, genetic testing for parentage and ancestry is accurate and reliable.

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity, and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).

Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

What’s Next

A New Era of Medicine?