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23 and Me vs Living DNA

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23 AND ME

23andMe is one of the only DNA testing services that offers one-stop shopping for both health and ancestry information, giving customers insights into their family background, inherited traits, and possible health predispositions.

All it takes is a simple saliva sample, and 23andMe does the rest. They generate a total of over 125 reports, depending on whether you choose just the ancestry test or both health and ancestry. Results come via email in about 6-8 weeks, and can include the following:

  • Ancestry: Over 35 reports with information that includes Composition, Maternal/Paternal Lineage, and Neanderthal components
  • Traits: Tendencies like taste preferences, likelihood of adult hair loss, and others, in a total of 19 reports or more
  • Wellness: Muscle Composition, Alcohol Flush Reaction, Lactose Intolerance, and at least two other reports that help people make better-informed decisions about health habits
  • Carrier Status: Determine if the subject is a carrier for genetic conditions like Hereditary Hearing Loss, Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Anemia, and more than 30 additional reports

If you are hoping to connect not just with your ancestral background but also with living relatives, 23andMe has a strong database with over 3 million customers worldwide. You may find hundreds of relatives you never knew about, and 23andMe will tell you how you are likely related (third cousins, fifth cousins, and so on). 23andMe is committed to maintaining your privacy, so your results are only shared and viewable if you give your explicit consent. You can also opt to provide your results for research purposes, but there's no requirement to do so.

The regular price for the Ancestry testing is $99, while the Health & Ancestry kit is $199. We found frequent promotions, especially around holidays like Mother's Day, Christmas, and New Year's. These sales included discounts of up to $20 per kit, buy-two-get-one-free, and buy-two-and-save-20%. Shipping is typically $9.95 per kit.

Whether you're looking for insights into your ancestry, your medical conditions, or a connection with your roots and living relatives, 23andMe is the most comprehensive, affordable service currently available. They earn our top ranking among companies offering DNA Testing.

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LIVING DNA

Living DNA is based in the UK and offers DNA testing for the purpose of exploring your family history. Testing is done by a simple cheek swab, and your results take from 10-12 weeks to be delivered.

How does Living DNA measure up against other companies that offer genealogy-focused DNA testing? It depends on what you're looking for. If you want answers to health questions, like inherited diseases or traits, you won't find it here. You also won't find a database with other users, in order to connect you with relatives who have also submitted samples for testing; according to the company, that service is "coming soon". Those could be two drawbacks.

On the other hand, if you suspect (or know) that you have ancestry from the British Isles - like we do - this test could give you a much richer window into your heritage. Living DNA breaks their results down into approximately 80 regions - more than some competitor sites, fewer than at least one other - but with respect to the British Isles, they break it down into 21 separate, smaller areas. You can get probability estimates as specific as Devon, Northumbria, Northern Ireland/Southwest Scotland, and more, which is far more detailed in that part of the world than any other service.

Living DNA's testing is more expensive than most, with a regular price of $159. However, this test incorporates three separate tests in one, giving you more for your money than most of the competition: instead of just getting your basic family ancestry (autosomal), you also get an analysis along your mother's line (mtDNA) and your father's (y-DNA). With other services, you'll pay a la carte for each of those three types of testing if they're even available; many genealogy-based DNA tests only study the basic family line and don't offer mtDNA or y-DNA analysis.

At the time of our review, Living DNA was offering their test at a discounted price of $99. Shipping costs $9.95 for standard delivery (5-7 business days) and $39.95 for premium delivery (2-3 business days).

Living DNA is still expanding what they offer, and we look forward to seeing how they compare when they add the ability to connect with other users. For the time being, their service is probably best for people with a strong family history connection in the UK who want to focus in closely on their roots in that part of the world.

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Best DNA Testing

To help you find the Best DNA Testing, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of 23 and Me and Living DNA.

Who has the best DNA Tests? It seems like everywhere you look these days, there are companies offering DNA Testing. The largest consumers of these DNA tests are people who want to connect with their heritage and/or living relatives, or who are hoping to gain insights into medical conditions and inherited medical predispositions that might affect their health.

Other reasons why people might want a DNA Test include establishing paternity of a child, identifying inherited traits, and detection of infidelity. But no matter the reason, one thing's for sure: DNA Testing has exploded in popularity as its reliability and usefulness continues to grow.

It's important to point out that, as a consumer industry, these DNA tests and the results that come from them are still an emerging science. This is especially true when it comes to testing for ancestry, where one's results are best considered a probability estimate and not an absolute conclusion. For example, you could have a DNA test done today that shows your heritage as 60% British Isles and 40% Eastern Europe, but re-running the same test in five years could show a slightly different balance as more people are tested and the estimates become more accurate.

Similarly, testing done to determine DNA traits and predispositions for medical conditions should be taken as one piece of the puzzle, not a foregone conclusion. Most experts recommend discussing these results with your doctor or a geneticist before making any drastic changes or coming to any written-in-stone conclusions regarding your future health.

On the other hand, DNA testing has been highly accurate when determining parentage. False positives are rare: if your test shows that Person X is the father of a particular child, those results are very likely to stand up in court.

There are many different companies offering DNA testing today, so it's important to know which ones offer the service you need before you purchase a home test kit. As you consider which company to use, you should keep in mind the following criteria:

  • Focus. Does the company offer DNA tests primarily for genealogy purposes, health testing, or paternity? Can you get a comprehensive test for multiple purposes (like ancestry and health background)?
  • Price. DNA testing fluctuates in price, with fees ranging from less than $50 to well over $500. Because these services have become more popular recently, you may be able to find promotions and discounts at certain times of the year.
  • Results. Have people used this service and been satisfied with the information received? If you're using a DNA test to explore your family history, how well does the company connect people with living relatives? (In other words, how big is their database of users who want to share their information with blood relations?)
  • Reputation. Does the company have a good track record for accurate testing and protection of privacy?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best DNA Testing companies available today. We hope these reviews help you find the DNA information you're looking for!



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