Genetic trait testing predicts your physical and learning characteristics, as well as your natural behavioural habits and tendencies, by analysing your DNA. All that is required from you is a saliva sample.
Once you’ve purchased a genetic trait test, you’ll be sent a testing kit, containing all you need to take the sample. It can be taken at home in a matter of minutes and you’ll usually receive your results a few weeks after sending it back to the testing lab. Once you get your results you can see which traits you’re genetically likely to exhibit.
Which traits are genetically determined?
It can be obvious, just by looking at your parents, that several physical characteristics are strongly related to the genes you inherit. A wide range of physical traits, but also learning characteristics have been shown to be influenced by your DNA in academic studies. There is also evidence that suggests your natural preferences, from foods to smoking behaviour, can also be attributed to genetics.
Genetic trait testing can predict what colour eyes you’re likely to have, your height or weight, and can even use your DNA to predict which wines you’re likely to enjoy!
How does it work?
Most providers base their analysis and conclusions on scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals. PubMed, an online library of science publications, has thousands of articles that link DNA to traits, and this is a commonly used resource for genetic trait testing companies.
Providers use these studies to interpret your DNA and report on a range of your characteristics using these resources.
What are the benefits of a genetic trait test?
There are several reasons why you might want to know which traits you’re genetically predisposed to exhibit:
- Get to know yourself. Do you look or act a certain way because of the genes you’ve inherited from your parents? Which traits are down to nature and are more influenced by nurture?
- Passing on your genes. How likely are your children to exhibit the same traits as you or your partner?
- Learning behaviours. Where do your natural strengths lie and which areas require a bit more effort?
Are all traits genetically determined?
No, your physical characteristics, behavioural traits and learning preferences have been influenced, at least in part, by environmental factors. Some characteristics are linked more strongly to your DNA than others, and these are the ones that genetic trait testing companies will provide results about.