How Genetic Health Testing Works | Pathway Genomics

What You Should Know about How Genetic Health Testing Works

Home DNA tests are an incredible advancement in medical technology. What was once limited to a physician’s office can now be done in the comfort of your home with a Pathway Genomics test—simply collect a sample, send it in for analysis and receive a highly detailed report on your genetic makeup and how it can impact your diet, fitness and other aspects of health and wellness. But how exactly does genetic health testing work and how is your DNA analyzed to give you a new perspective on your health?

Some Basic Information on Genetics

Every cell in the human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes. These chromosomes, which are contained in the cell nucleus, are made up of DNA, which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is your genetic blueprint, and the genes found there determine who you are. As humans, we all share 99.9 percent of the same DNA. That remaining 0.1 percent sliver is where the genetic code differs from person to person—these genetic markers give us those individual characteristics, which encompasses everything from the color of our hair to a predisposition to certain diseases. Genetic health testing analyzes those markers, and with at-home genetic tests from Pathway Genomics, you’ll be in the vanguard of personalized wellness because you can optimize your diet, fitness, skincare and more based on your own DNA.

How Genetic Testing Works

As the first step, you need to collect a sample properly in order to get the optimal results from your home DNA test. At least 30 minutes before taking your sample, you should avoid eating, drinking, or smoking. Pathway Genomics at-home tests include labels that need to be filled out and placed on the enclosed tubes.

Now you’re ready to take the sample. It’s an easy, painless process: Take one of the swabs packaged with your test and swipe it inside your mouth against one of your cheeks for about 45 seconds, as if you are brushing your teeth. Then repeat the process with the other swab on the other cheek. Each swab needs to be put into its collection tube. Note to take care not to touch the tip to another surface, as that can spoil the results. Then you can seal it in the bag provided with the test and mail it back to us.

Genetic Testing with Us 

That is where our work comes in. Our San Diego-based clinical laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and has Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification. Not only can we conduct testing from samples in all 50 states in America, we’ve also provided our services to patients and physicians from more than 40 countries. When undergoing home genetic health testing, it’s important to select a company, such as Pathway Genomics, with a highly accredited clinical laboratory specializing in genetic analysis. We also have a staff and advisory board made up of many M.D. and Ph.D. recipients who are experienced in medicine, genetics, biology and other fields. Through their innovation and our lab’s state-of-the-art technology, Pathway Genomics can provide more accurate precision information that you can use to make personalized wellness decisions.

Pathway Genomics offers several different types of home DNA tests and depending on which one you select, our laboratory scientists will analyze the corresponding genetic markers. When your sample arrives at the lab, the DNA is extracted from it. The scientists will look for changes in the markers to determine any predispositions to certain conditions; this is a process called genotyping by array-based evaluation. The genotyping is done on computer chips that can detect the variations being analyzed for the report. The number of markers analyzed varies depending on the test used.

At Pathway Genomics, once your DNA has been analyzed, the results are provided in a comprehensive report aimed to help you make actionable changes in your lifestyle with the guidance of your healthcare provider. Before sending you the results, one of Pathway Genomics’ physicians reviews the report to make sure everything is in order. The process of DNA analysis generally takes only two to three weeks before the report is completed and sent back to you. In addition to the analysis, tips and other personalized information, a report based on our home DNA kits also includes a way to contact the genetic, medical or nutritional counselors at Pathway Genomics for any follow-up questions you may have.

The cutting-edge science behind at-home genetic testing has rapidly changed how we look at wellness and make the decisions on how to best care for our health. At Pathway Genomics, we are on the forefront of using home DNA tests to create a higher level of personalization when it comes to important areas such as diet and fitness. For more information on Pathway Genomics’ home DNA tests, visit our products page.