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Living DNA vs Live Well 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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LIVE WELL TESTING

San Diego-based Live Well Testing believes in "a healthier and happier world for everyone" by offering affordable, accessible testing solutions for people, pets, and even their environments.

You'll find a total of 9 DNA-based tests offered at this company:

  • 3 tests for Health: CellMax Cancer Risk, Blood Type, Labrix FindWhy Weight (tests 5 genes known to affect metabolism)
  • 6 tests for Familial Relationships: Avuncular (compare child with alleged aunt/uncle), Twin Zygosity (to determine identical/fraternal), Grandparent, Maternity, Paternity, Sibling

Especially when it comes to less-direct family relationships, Live Well offers a broader range of testing than many of their competitors. Once your samples are received at their lab, results are typically available within 3-5 business days - an excellent turnaround timeframe.

Depending on the type of test you order and whether or not you need it to be legally admissible in court, tests cost between $139.99 and $349.99. Live Well offers additional savings: free shipping on every order, and a 15% discount on future orders for every product review you enter on their website. Also, if you subscribe to their mailing list, you'll get coupon codes and access to promotions year-round.

We would have liked to find more evidence of Live Well Testing's reputation with customers: we found very few reviews, no rating with the BBB, and no testimonials on the website.

Among the customer comments we did find, the feeling was mixed: some were very happy with the experience they had, while others were less so. We read one customer comment that said she conducted DNA tests with 3 separate companies, and Live Well was the only one that didn't confirm a match with an individual believed to be her half-sister. We were pleased to see that Live Well representatives responded to this review, though it does make us wonder where the difference in results came from.

On the other hand, many of the DNA tests on the Live Well site have customer reviews - and they're all five stars. "Easy to use", "got the results I needed", and "very fast process" are just a few of the good things clients had to say about their experience.

Overall, Live Well Testing offers an easy-to-navigate, professional-looking website, a broader variety of health and relationship-proving DNA testing than many other sites, and a fast turnaround time for results. We hope to see more customer reviews in the future, because we think Live Well will continue to be a solid choice for DNA tests.

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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 Live Well Testing.

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!



DNA In The News

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Search for human remains ramps up with request for DNA samples

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Authorities Are Asking for DNA Samples From Relatives of the Missing in California's Camp Fire

Hundreds of rescue personnel dressed in white overalls are sifting through smoldering rubble and mangled cars, searching for human remains in California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire.

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Authorities Ask Relatives for DNA Samples to Help in Search of Those Missing in Camp Fire

Hundreds of rescue personnel dressed in white overalls are sifting through smoldering rubble and mangled cars, searching for human remains in California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire.

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Nebula Genomics wants to give you credits in exchange for sharing your genome DNA with third-parties

Genome science and genome services are catching on with more and more people. Genome services like Helix, deCODE Genetics and 23andMe will all take your DNA and return results to you for a fee.

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