Table of contents:
- Different Types and Benefits of DNA Test
- Various Genetic Diseases That Can Be Detected by DNA Tests
- DNA Sampling
The benefits of DNA testing or genetic testing are not only to determine a person's lineage or identity, but also to detect certain diseases. There are different types of DNA tests and each has a different benefit or function
Humans generally have 46 chromosomes in each cell. These chromosomes are composed of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is the genetic material that determines the nature and physical characteristics of a person.
When a person has a genetic or DNA disorder, for example due to a hereditary disease or due to other factors, he or she can experience certain diseases. Therefore, DNA testing is important to determine the genetic structure in a person's body and detect genetic disorders.
Different Types and Benefits of DNA Test
In addition to being useful for detecting and diagnosing certain genetic disorders or conditions, DNA tests can also be performed to assist legal proceedings. Following are the different types and benefits of DNA testing:
DNA testing can be done by couples who are planning to get pregnant through IVF or are at risk of having children with certain genetic disorders, such as sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis.
To perform this test, several eggs are removed from the ovaries or ovaries, then fertilized with sperm cells outside the body to form a fetus (embryo).
Furthermore, each embryo will be checked for certain genetic disorders. After that, the doctor will select a he althy embryo to be inserted into the uterus.
Another benefit of DNA testing is to detect genetic changes or abnormalities in the chromosomes of the fetus. This DNA test can be done to detect certain diseases in the fetus early, such as Down's syndrome and Edward's syndrome.
The benefits of DNA testing can also be to find out whether a person has certain genes or conditions that may be passed on to their children. Information like this is useful in helping couples make decisions about planning a pregnancy.
DNA testing is also done if you have parents or close relatives who have certain hereditary diseases. Predictive testing is used to take preventive action early on before symptoms appear or planning the treatment process.
Maternity or paternity test
DNA test can be used to find out the identity of the parents of a child. This test can be done, both when the child is still in the womb or already born. The examination can be done through a blood test or a swab of the inside of the cheek.
A series of DNA tests can also be used as one of the examinations for forensic purposes or law enforcement processes.
Some examples of DNA tests that are often carried out in forensic testing are blood tests to determine the blood of victims or perpetrators of law violations, fingerprint tests, and the process of identifying body parts of victims of crimes or certain events, such as fires or plane crashes.
In addition to the tests above, DNA tests can also be done to determine a person's race genetically and family tree, ancestral origins, and ancestral race. This DNA test can already be done in Indonesia, but the cost for this test is quite large.
Various Genetic Diseases That Can Be Detected by DNA Tests
As mentioned above, DNA testing is useful for detecting various types of genetic diseases. The following are some of the types of diseases in question:
1. Alpha 1-antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency
A1AT is a protein produced by the liver and serves to protect the lungs. If A1AT deficiency, the lungs and liver will be damaged slowly. In some patients, A1AT deficiency can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Thalassemia is a blood disorder that is inherited or inherited in families. This disease makes the sufferer's body unable to produce sufficient amounts of hemoglobin or produce red blood cells abnormally.
As a result, red blood cells cannot carry oxygen throughout the body properly. This makes thalassemia sufferers prone to anemia and often requires blood transfusions.
3. Crohn's disease
Crohn's disease is characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. Other complications that can occur are anemia and arthritis.
4. Cystic Fibrosis
This disorder causes mucus in the body, such as the lungs, digestive system, and reproductive organs, to become thicker. As a result, people with cystic fibrosis are at risk for respiratory, digestive, malnutrition, and infertility problems.
DNA testing can be done to detect a person's risk for developing cancer, such as breast cancer. One of the DNA tests used to determine the risk of cancer is the examination of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes.
Various studies have shown that about 55–72% of women who have the BRCA1 gene and 45–69% of women who have the BRCA2 gene are at risk of developing breast cancer when they are over 70 years old.
6. Klinefelter syndrome
Klinefelter syndrome occurs when boys are born with an extra X chromosome. This condition can affect testicular growth, causing low testosterone production.
7. Sickle cell anemia
Sickle cell anemia occurs when red blood cells are not normally round in shape, but rather like sickles. This condition makes red blood cells unable to carry enough oxygen throughout the body, thus causing disruption of various body organ functions.
8. Down Syndrome
Down syndrome or trisomy 21 syndrome is a genetic condition that causes sufferers to not have the ability to learn at a certain level. People with Down syndrome usually have distinctive physical characteristics.
In addition to detecting genetic disorders, DNA tests can also be done to determine the type of virus that causes certain diseases. One of the tests that is often carried out in this field is the PCR examination to detect the Corona virus in COVID-19.
DNA testing is generally done by taking a sample of blood or body tissue, such as skin or hair. Most of the samples used blood from veins, but some used saliva samples.
For DNA testing on the fetus, the sample taken is usually amniotic fluid or a sample of placental tissue.
Once taken, the sample will then be sent to the laboratory for further examination. Usually, it can take a few days to weeks to get the DNA test results.
If your family suffers from a genetic disease, it never hurts to do a DNA test to find out if the disease is passed on to you or your child later. To determine whether or not a DNA test is necessary, you can consult a doctor.