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Did you know that the breeds and genetic diversity of plants and animals can be improved through genetic studying? Science and technology have continued to evolve throughout the years and have had great breakthroughs in various biological achievements. These breakthroughs have enabled in achieving medical treatments, predict genetic disorders, boost genetic disorders, and assess relatedness. This article focuses on discussing the topic of genetic testing.

 

What is Genetic testing?

 

Genetic testing also referred to as DNA testing, is the science used to detect changes in the structure of chromosomes or the DNA structure. It also includes gauging the results of genetic variances like the analysis of RNA as a gene expression output or via the analysis of biochemical to measure the specific output of proteins.

 

How Genetic Testing is done

 

Once someone decides to go one with genetic testing, a specialist, primary care doctor, nurse practitioner, or medical geneticist can order a test. It is, in most cases, done as a part of a genetic consultation.

 

Genetic tests are conducted on a blood sample, amniotic fluid, skin, hair, or any other tissue. For instance, a procedure known as a buccal smear uses a cotton swab or a small brush to obtain a cell sample from the cheeks inside the surface. The sample is taken to a lab where professionals look for particular variances of chromosomes, proteins, or DNA depending on the suspected disorder. The results are reported in writing directly to the client or his/her doctor or genetic counselor as per the request.

 

Tests of newborn screening are performed on a small blood sample, which is obtained by pricking the heel of the baby. As opposed to other types of genetic testing, a parent normally gets the results if it is positive, and if so, more tests are performed to determine if the baby has genetic disorders.

 

It is important for a person to understand the benefits and limitations of the test, procedure of testing, and possible consequences of the results before undertaking a test in order for him or her to make an informed decision.

 

Types of Genetic Testing

 

1). Diagnostic Testing

It is used to rule out or identify the particular chromosomal or genetic condition. It is mainly used to confirm a diagnosis when a certain condition is suspected based on physical symptoms and signs.

 

2). Prenatal Testing

It is used to detect variations in fetus’ chromosomes or genes before birth. It is performed during pregnancy if there are high risks that the baby may possess genetic or chromosomal disorder.

 

3). Newborn Screening

Newborn screening is performed soon after birth in order to identify genetic disorders that can be treated in early life.

 

4). Carrier Testing

This is done to ascertain people who possess one copy of a mutation gene, which, if present in two copies, can cause genetic disorders.

 

5.) Forensic Testing

This testing uses DNA to identify someone due to legal issues.

 

6). Preimplantation Testing.

It is also referred to as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). It is a specialized technique that can lower the child of the chance of having a certain chromosomal or genetic disorder. It is used to identify genetic variances in embryos that were caused using assisted techniques of reproduction like in-vitro fertilization.

 

7). Predictive and Presymptomatic Testing

These tests are performed to identify gene mutations associated with disorders that appear after birth, in most cases later in life. They can be useful for people with a relative member with a genetic disorder, but who have no characteristic of the disorder themselves at the testing time.

 

As we have seen, genetic testing is an important biological field that can help find solutions to various biological problems related to plants and animals. Genetic testing offers knowledge that is key in making well-informed decisions in various areas such as, best breeds of animals and plants to keep, facilitate breakthroughs In medication and health concerns, among many benefits. 

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