What to do with your raw DNA data?
Nowadays, DNA testing kits can tell you all sorts of information, including your genealogical history and how susceptible you are to certain diseases. Because of this, DNA testing has become a multi-billion dollar industry, with people across the world evidently interested in learning more about themselves.
However, you can find out even more information about yourself through raw DNA data analysis. Whilst all tests generate a vast amount of raw data that’s then digitised as computer data, only a very small percentage of this is actually analysed. The rest of this is still prime for further examination, which is why so many are looking towards raw data analysis.
There are plenty of sites where you can upload the computer data, where it will be analysed and compared to relevant scientific findings. This enables these sites to generate reports that give us insights on aspects about ourselves—like our fitness and nutritional needs—allowing us to squeeze out every last bit of information from our DNA tests.
Upload raw DNA data to discover your genealogical history
While a standard DNA test will give you basic information about your genealogical ancestry, you can use raw DNA tools to delve into this further. If a test has confirmed what the most significant parts of your background are, your raw data can tell you even more about your genetic mix.
For instance, GEDmatch can run your genetic information through some of the same algorithms that leading genealogists use, enabling you to find out about your distant ancestry. You can also use this to compare your results to others, and can even find out if your parents are distantly related or whether you’re related to your partner—only if they have carried out a DNA test too, of course.
Analyse raw DNA data to discover nutritional and fitness needs
Ever wondered why you can’t seem to bulk up, despite your best efforts at the gym? Or you just can’t lose weight no matter how carefully you watch what you eat? Well, it could be down to your genes, and looking at your raw data may help you to reach your body goals. There are a handful of companies out there that will analyse your genes to offer recommendations on diet and fitness.
One company is DNAFit, who work with personal trainers and dietitians to generate reports with tailored fitness regimes and diets based on a customer’s genetic needs. This is done by identifying antioxidant needs, tolerance to dairy products, vitamin D requirements, and the ability to recover from exercise. Athletes, including soccer player Rio Ferdinand, have begun using DNAFit to help modify their diet and fitness regimes in line with their genetic makeup, with Ferdinand himself saying that the results have helped him bulk up.
Find romance with raw DNA data interpretation
Thanks to DNA Romance you can now use genetics to help you meet a suitable romantic partner. All you have to do is upload your data to their site, tell them your gender, sexual preference, and undergo a personality test in order for the company to find a match. The company will analyse all of this and match you with people you have over a 70% genetic compatibility with.
The process looks at chemical attraction and then the results of the personality test in order to match you with somebody. The chemistry between individuals is initially detected by smell, with people naturally attracted to other individual’s own unique odour, with our pheromones—airborne chemical messengers released in sweat and urine—having a physical or emotional effect on others. Scientific studies have shown that people with divergent DNA markers in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes will like each other’s scent, and are therefore more likely to fall in love. DNA Romance’s algorithm uses data from 102 markers to match you to someone with compatible divergent markers to your own. Who needs Tinder when you can use simple biology to speed up the dating process?
Understand your body with a raw DNA data health analysis
With Genetic Genie’s methylation gene analysis tool, you can upload raw DNA data to see whether or not you have a functional MTHFR enzyme or not. MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, an enzyme that helps to produce neurotransmitters—which facilitate certain brain functions—and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which regulates over 200 other enzymes in the body.
However, a mutated, non-functional MTHFR enzyme can lead to low levels of neurotransmitters, SAMe, and various other vitamins. These can all have adverse effects and make us predisposed to anxiety, depression, insomnia, infertility, autism, and certain types of cancer. This can also lead to elevated homocysteine—a common amino acid in your blood—with high levels of this linked to heart disease. As such, a methylation gene analysis can be enlightening and beneficial, as those that find out they have an MTHFR mutation can decide to take preventative measures to help them. For instance, they may change certain lifestyle choices in order to reduce homocysteine levels, like quitting smoking, exercising more, and eating healthily.
Create personalised and unique art with raw DNA data
Rather than simply understanding how your body works and functions, you can even upload your raw data to create your own unique art, thanks to Dot One. The company passes client genetic information on to a genetic testing lab, AlphaBiolabs, who then convert this into colours and patterns to visually represent your genetic makeup. Every section of genetic data is assigned a different colour, and these patterns are then used to make prints or hand-woven textiles by Dot One, such as family tartans and family tree booklets.
Company founder Iona Ingelsby hopes that Dot One can provide people with a more accessible understanding of genetics, telling Dezeen: “By taking DNA profiling out of the lab and into the consumer environment, it is a fantastic way to stimulate conversation around genetics and decoding the language our cells are created with.” So, if you’re looking for unique artwork based on your essence, you know where to go.