Smallpox Virus Found in DNA of Vikings

For a long time, geneticists, archaeologists, and scientists have studied the genetic makeup of historical findings. Most recently, bones and teeth of several people who lived in northern Europe during the Viking age are being studied by a team at the University of Cambridge. The reason: the bones and teeth carry a strain of ancient smallpox viruses.

The Variola virus has been around for millennia, plaguing populations as old as the Egyptians. This is the virus Barbara Mühlemann and her colleagues have traced and are studying. Their findings are pushing the boundaries on what scientists understand about virus evolution.

The group has thus far determined that the ancient smallpox strain was “derived from the same ancestor as the 20th-century virus, but didn’t give rise to it. Instead, they are a now-extinct side branch.” However, this goes against conventional virology theories, which state that  viruses are most deadly when they first jump to humans and evolve to become less deadly,

Antonio Alcamí at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, hypothesizes that the Viking-age virus wasn’t as deadly as the 20th-century virus. Another explanation given by the team was that the smallpox virus jumped from animals to people more than once.

Learn more about Mühlemann’s work in this video:

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!

GEDmatch Announces Security Breach

Many concerns have been raised over the security of stored DNA information. Consumers want to know who has access to their genetic information and under what circumstances, whether their information is sold, and to whom, and what laws protect their genetic information. The following video gives an overview of current laws in place to protect genetic information:

There isn’t much assurance or explanation of privacy given by direct-to-consumer companies. Even worse, GEDmatch confirmed they had two security breaches in July.

GEDmatch changed its privacy policy, allowing users to opt-in to their DNA being used for police searches. However, users reported that their settings had been changed without their permission; all profiles could be searched by police.

GEDmatch took the site down to fix the security breach but is now up and running again. However, this is not the first time a direct-to-consumer company has been hacked, and it won’t be the last. Dare you trust a direct-to-consumer company with your personal genetic information?

With DNA Paternity Testing, we use extreme measures to keep your medical information secure. We train all our staff on all HIPAA compliance policies and ensuring that all tests and counseling remain confidential.  We never sell or release your information except if needed to comply with HIPAA standards. Your results are 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!

Emerging Technology to Secure DNA

It’s a growing problem: the security of our DNA information. Who has access to it, and under what circumstances? Is your information sold? Can you have your information deleted? What will happen to your information in the future? Watch this video to learn more about poor security of DNA tests:

As the years have gone on, more people have become wary of the security measures used to protect their DNA and the scams associated with mailing their collected DNA. Direct-to-consumer test companies like Ancestry.com and 23andMe have especially felt the effects of consumer uneasiness through declining sales.

But engineers at Duke University have developed at DNA “barcoding” system that ensures swabbed DNA material is not swapped or tampered with on the way to the laboratory. While this doesn’t affect how information is stored and accessed, it is a step in the right direction towards better DNA security.

But with DNA Paternity Testing, we use extreme measures to keep your medical information secure. We train all our staff on all HIPAA compliance policies and ensuring that all tests and counseling remain confidential.  We never sell or release your information except if needed to comply with HIPAA standards. Your results are 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!

Korean Adoptee Uses DNA to Demand Paternity Information

Kara Bos has been on a search for three years to find her biological family.

Kara was abandoned at two years old in Goesan, South Korea. Adopted at three years old in 1984 by loving parents, Kara was mostly disinterested in finding her birth family. But when Kara became a mother and her daughter approached the same age as when she was abandoned, Kara couldn’t understand why her mother would give her up. Kara began an intense search to find her parents.

Kara researched adoptee forums on Facebook, adoptee rights organizations, and online genealogy platforms. She took DNA tests through Family Tree DNA, then uploaded the results to MyHeritage. Then the waiting began.

A few years later, Kara learned she had been matched with a relative—her nephew, or the grandson of her biological father. However, Kara was met with resistance to reaching her father by her nephew’s mother and aunts (her presumed half-sisters), and Kara filed a lawsuit which resulted in a court-ordered paternity test.

Kara briefly met her father on his apartment doorstep, who brushed her aside and has had no further contact. The DNA test did confirm, however, that he was Kara’s biological father.

The lawsuit, if ruled in favor of Kara, would reward Kara with legal recognition as her Korean father’s daughter, officially being entered into his family registry. It’s the first of its kind, and could set a new precedent for information gained from DNA tests.

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!

Siblings Reunited After 50 Years

Irish siblings Helen Ward and David McBride didn’t know they were siblings—even though they had the same parents.

In 1962, David was found in a tartan bag in a car on the outskirts of Belfast city. In 1968 Helen was abandoned and found, also in a tartan bag, on the other side of the Irish border, in Dundalk.

David and Helen have spent their lives searching for biological family, and that’s where DNA testing came in. They both took DNA tests and uploaded them to the database, hoping to find blood relatives. They were reunited on the television show Long Lost Family: Born without a Trace and learned their parents’ story.

Their father was a married Protestant with 14 other children. He had an affair with their mother—a Catholic woman 17 years his junior—that lasted over 40 years. The sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland would have denounced their relationship as a scandal, and it is for this reason David and Helen believe their mother gave them up as infants.

Their father passed away in Dublin in 1993, and their passed away in 2017.

Despite never meeting their parents, David and Helen have a positive outlook on their new family. “We started one journey,” said David. “Now we are on another, getting to know each other and our family.”

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!

Genetics May Impact COVID-19 Severity

It’s been a global race to determine not only the cause and cure for COVID-19, but why some individuals experience life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms while others are asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms.

Many scientists have turned to genetics for an answer. And while a whole picture is not yet complete, they are beginning to find trends. Specifically, there are two spots in the human genome are associated with an increased risk of respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19.

One of these was having Type A blood. Individuals with Type A blood were 50 % more likely to need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator. The other relates to ACE2, the cellular receptor needed by COVID-19 in order to enter host cells. An immune gene triggers an overreaction that leads to respiratory failure.

This information could be a breakthrough for the medical community—both in determining at-risk populations and providing tailored treatments for higher risk patients. Unfortunately, such technology takes time and is not currently available. Scientists are hopeful that these emerging trends will aid in the future to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Watch this video to learn more about genetics and COVID-19:

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!

DNA Tests Can’t Determine Your Future

We’ve all credited genetics with certain attributes or characteristics. You love spicy food like your grandpa, you laugh like your dad, or you’re double-jointed like your mom. For sure, genetics play a huge role in your personhood, but DNA itself doesn’t determine your future.

Many direct-to-consumer genetics companies promote that their take-at-home kit will predict your future diseases and health. While there certainly can be inherited genetic disorders, genes can be “turned on” and “turned off” over time by environmental factors like food choices, sleep habits, trauma, smoking, exercise, etc. This is called epigenetics:

This is excellent news to most of us: we are born with a set of genetics we can’t change, but through consistent, health-conscious choices, inherited diseases and illnesses don’t have to be in our future.

Epigenetics still has a long way to go, but epigenetics has a huge potential to influence the future of health. Until then, it’s best to avoid direct-to-consumer tests that advertise a peek into your future. And if you have a DNA test completed, it’s critical to have the results interpreted by your doctor or 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!

What Is a DNA Diet?

You may have heard of the DNA Diet by now, which is becoming increasingly popular amongst dieters, especially if a “tried-and-true” diet is unsuccessful for an individual.

Based on the idea that no two people are the same, the DNA Diet proposes that no two diets should be the same. Hypothetically, if an individual knows their DNA makeup, a physician, dietician, or genetic counselor can help them discover a custom diet that fits their specific genetic code. Watch this video to learn more about how diet affects our genes:

This custom diet would help an individual lose weight and keep it off, build muscle, prevent diseases, and more. Who wouldn’t want those kinds of dietary answers? But is there scientific proof that DNA Diets work?

Although it is a fascinating idea, scientists are still hesitant to recommend DNA Diets. DNA Diets only look at genetic makeup and not at other factors, such as obesity, anorexia, medications, and pre-existing diseases. Eliminating certain foods—or even food groups—based upon DNA results could be detrimental to one’s health.

Further, genes only explain 5 to 10% of diseases such as diabetes. This means DNA Diets aren’t as personalized as they may seem. It is highly recommended to work closely with your physician or dietician when considering dietary changes.

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!

Can Genetics Prove COVID-19 Susceptibility?

Scientists from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) are working with colleagues around the world to better understand why young patients with no underlying health issues are contracting severe cases of COVID-19. The focus of their study? Genetics.

Jean-Laurent Casanova at The Rockefeller University is the head investigator of a large study seeking to enroll 500 participants. Participants must meet three requirements: be under the age of 50, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to an ICU, and not have any underlying illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease.

In the study, HHMI scientists will examine the DNA of participants to identify any genetic mutations that make certain individuals more susceptible to COVID-19. This video explains more about genetic predisposition:

Casanova and his team have been working with Chinese scientists from the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. He has been studying young adults and children without the standard risk factors. Now that there are more cases to study, Casanova and his team are optimistic they will find susceptibility answers in genetics.

The team has been successful before—finding genetic links and errors for diseases such as influenza pneumonitis, viral encephalitis, and tuberculosis. Even though Casanova can study the virus in real-time, he says his research won’t be conclusive for two or three more years.

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!

When You Didn’t Agree to That

Between work and social obligations, it can be hard to find to the time to take a DNA test at a physician’s office or testing center! The convenience and price of take-at-home DNA tests can be enticing.

But what you might initially save in time and money, you might regret later! Take-at-home DNA tests have been used in scams, identity theft, undermine your privacy, and can even give false results.

Like most service companies, direct-to-consumer DNA companies have lots of paperwork, Terms of Service Agreements, and releases for the customer to read and sign. Even if you’re one of the few people who take the time to read all the fine print and feel informed of your consent, a new report shows two shocking details.

First, direct-to-consumer companies are only bound by their own terms of service. There are currently no regulations or laws regarding how genetic information can be used or sold. Once you turn in your test tubes, your genetic information is no longer your own.

But as if that wasn’t scary enough, the second detail is more concerning: genetic companies can change their terms of service at any time. So while you might have signed a release for a certain agreement on how your genetic information will be used, the testing company can change their service terms and void your agreement. Watch this video to see other risks involved with using a take-at-home test:

But with DNA Paternity Testing, we use extreme measures to keep your medical information secure. We train all our staff on all HIPAA compliance policies and ensuring that all tests and counseling remain confidential.  We never sell or release your information except if needed to comply with HIPAA standards. Your results are 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!