DNA Testing or DNA Profiling was first developed in the 1980s by a British geneticist who went by the name; Sir Alec John Jeffreys. It is now commonly used to identify individuals and resolve paternity issues surrounding an individual’s identity. DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid in full) is a molecule that exists inside the nucleus of organic cells. Loosely defined, it decides how the cell does everything it does. All living things can be reduced to this instruction manual as the most basic individual biological marker known to man.
For this reason, DNA testing is fundamental to various social, legal (like court cases and indictments), and even civic processes (like emigration). In addition, a test may be required to improve personal and interpersonal healthcare, establish familial relations, trace an individual’s genealogy, or connect criminals to various crimes. Thanks to years of evolution in genetic studies, you can now conduct some DNA tests from home using DNA Testing kits. However, these are limited to some kinds of DNA tests and will not work for others. And so, the cost of DNA testing will vary depending on the nature of the DNA test required.
You can consider centers for DNA tests are Dnalysis, DNAtest.co.za, HomeDNAdirect, Geneway, Genediagnostics, and Horizon laboratories. It is important to find out crucial information about testing centers before you choose one. These considerations include the costs for the various kinds of DNA tests, how these tests might be suited to your requirements, and how to choose a DNA testing center. All these will be covered in this article.
Types of DNA Tests
Depending on the purpose for which the test is required, DNA tests can be divided into four kinds. These is personal DNA testing, legal DNA testing, healthcare improvement DNA testing, and nutritional DNA testing.
Personal DNA Testing
You may decide to go for personal DNA testing to find out:
- Who your ancestors were
- If you are related to a sibling, cousin, or nephew
- If you are the parent to your child.
In these cases, you are going for personal DNA testing. Personal DNA testing does not involve secondary compulsions. It is done following a personal decision made mostly due to curiosity or a preconceived social responsibility (like paternity).
In South Africa, DNA testing for personal reasons costs around R 1 200 per person. This means that if you are testing yourself plus someone else, you will be charged roughly R 2 400. However, DNA testing centers may charge as high as R 4 000 for paternity test, which tests two people. The cheapest test involves only checking the DNA. Checking a specific gene is a little more expensive and checking a panel of genes is the most expensive. Some testing centers also give additional services like nutritional advice at an additional cost.
First, order a DNA testing kit on a test center’s website to get a personal DNA test. These are usually sold at a fixed cost covering the testing process. The center then handpicks the sample from your place on request in some instances or receives it through email in others. Different centers receive test samples in different ways. After receiving your samples, the center then does the DNA test. They’ll send you a message or email you the results when they are done.
DNA Test Price at Dischem
Dischem offers an Advanced DNA profile & Epigenetic test kit for R2,800 which can be bought on the Dischem website.
Legal DNA Testing
Legal DNA testing is done as a requirement in legal matters. Such legal matters include court cases and birth registrations or birth registration amendments. DNA testing for legal purposes costs about R 4 700. They are usually done using a chain of custody in conjunction with the department or agency that requires the test to be done. Failure to meet this requirement may make the test inadmissible to the department or agency.
Healthcare Improvement DNA Testing
Prescription medication is more effective if it is tailored toward recipients whose DNA profile has been established. A DNA profile has information about how your genetic makeup influenced your ailment. Consequently, the medication works better and faster with fewer side effects than the normal non-genetics considered prescriptions. Testing your DNA for this purpose will set you back roughly R 3 500. You can keep your DNA profile for later. A full genome test will make your profile more complete. However, it is important to note that this testing only works for some medications. And so, always inquire from the testing center to find out if the prescription you have or plan on getting is compatible with DNA-specific medical prescriptions.
Nutritional DNA Testing
DNA profiles can serve other purposes. For example, they can also be used to give you a diet that is specific to you. Diets and supplements work best when they are tailored towards a specific DNA profile. As a consequence, you will have a healthier lifestyle. These DNA tests cost about R 4 000.
How to Choose a DNA Testing Center
When choosing a DNA testing center, consider:
- what accreditations the center has,
- what privacy policies it has in place for handling your DNA test results,
- its website, and
- the kind of tests they have available.