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Living DNA vs American Screening Corporation

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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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AMERICAN SCREENING CORPORATION

Based in Louisiana, American Screening Corporation has been in business for over 15 years and enjoys a solid reputation as an accredited, "A+"-rated business with the Better Business Bureau. This company focuses on selling drug and medical testing and supplies directly to the consumer.

With respect to DNA, the only types of testing you'll find here are Parentage, Infidelity, and Siblingship. Most tests are completed within 5-7 business days and returned via plain envelope that has no company name or logo on the outside, to help maintain customers' privacy.

The website is outdated and not very easy to figure out. At first glance, it seems that their DNA tests are all very inexpensive, with some selling for just $1. But, when you look at the product image and description, you see that there's also a $125 lab fee. v

We tried using the live chat to get answers to our questions, especially about how much the testing costs in total and where we'd be expected to pay those additional lab fees. We were connected to a representative right away, who asked to call us on the phone. When we said that we didn't have our phone handy, she asked which product we were looking at. Although we provided that information right away, the representative never returned to the chat.

There also was a lot of missing information in American Screening Corporation's product descriptions. We got excited when we saw something that looked like it would test a dog's DNA - we could finally find out if our rescue dog indeed was part Boston Terrier! - but there was no further information when we clicked on the product.

We like that ASC has a well-established history in direct-to-consumer lab testing, including DNA tests. But, our experience with trying to place an order was confusing at best. There wasn't enough information available to be sure that we were getting the test we needed, or to know exactly how much we'd have to pay for lab processing fees. For these reasons, ASC drops a star compared with our last rating; we hope to see improvements in their online business, especially when it comes to live chat representatives and product descriptions.

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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 Living DNA and American Screening Corporation.

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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