Thinking of getting your DNA tested, here are the basics
29 June 2018 EDUCATION
By Zuko Komisa
The human body is rather complex when it comes to its makeup, our earliest introduction to understanding of DNA is usually in school, but what can we truly do with it?
DNA, short for Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule that stores the biological information and genetic instructions that makes each species unique.
We mostly see it on investigative crime programs, like CSI (Crime Scene Invastigation) and social programs like Utatakho; your DNA is very useful in giving crucial information about you. In the past that information has been used to solve complex cases.
Fun facts to know about your DNA
- The length of all the DNA in your body could make hundreds of round trips to the sun.
- If all of your DNA was unbound and straightened out, each cell by itself would have a 182,88cm long strand. With approximately 100 trillion cells in the body, that means all the DNA molecules in your body end-to-end could make about 600 trips to the Sun and back!
- Through evolution, humans have 98% of your DNA in common with a chimpanzee.
- DNA is a very fragile molecule. About a thousand times a day, something happens to it to cause errors.
- Humans and cabbage share about 40-50% common DNA
- A parent and child share 99.5% of the same DNA.
Different tests you can do using DNA:
Parental testing – to find out if someone is the biological parent of a child
Forensic testing – to help detect suspects or victims in a criminal investigation
Gene therapy – to test parents or fetuses for genetic conditions or birth defects
Genetic genealogy – a popular one with many people all over the world tracing their ancestry.
Through DNA you can map your family tree, find out who you are related to. Find out who forms part your family tree. You can also solve ancient mysteries, debunk stories and understand the history of mankind. You can also determine the kinds of animals that roamed the earth, wonderful creatures that disappeared through extinction.
Get your genealogy test done to see how small this world is and how far back your ancestors mingled with other races.