Do you know that just like thumbprints, even the genetic makeup of our cells is unique? All body cells contain DNA which constitutes a two-stranded twisted ladder.
The strands contain information in a genetic code comprising of four types of building blocks. These building blocks determine the traits and characteristics inherited from the parents.
Half of the genes from the mother and the other half from the father. This is why DNA testing in Malaysia and other countries across the globe is conducted to prove a child’s biological parents.
What is DNA testing?
The test involves checking your body’s genetic composition to determine relationships and to identify any predisposition to health conditions. It involves collecting a sample, which may be a body fluid, tissue or your hair. The most common and least invasive option is a swab from the inside of your cheek.
The process starts with cell lysis. This is where an enzyme is added to the solution that contains the samples to break down the cell membranes. The DNA is then separated. Electrophoresis is the most commonly adopted procedures to separate DNA from body cells.
Within the process, an electric field sorts the sample’s molecules according to size. The negatively charged DNA fragments move towards the positive electrode.
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is used to generate DNA copies to test for genetic markers. These markers are then matched with other DNA samples.
DNA testing at home
Yes, it is now possible to take the test within the premises of your home, thanks to home DNA testing kits available in Malaysia. You just have to first buy the kit online or from a pharmacy. Next, collect your cheek cell sample, place it in the provided sealed container and send it to the relevant companies for analysis.
You will soon get your results. Though this is a home testing kit, the only part you do is collecting the sample. The testing is done at a designated laboratory.
Watch video below – How to do DIY DNA test sample collection at home
Best at-home DNA testing kits to buy
Now that you know more about DNA testing in Malaysia, and how useful and beneficial it can be, you may be interested in getting one for yourself. That said, there are so many kits available in the market. Making a correct choice can be difficult and overwhelming.
Here are some reviews of the top 6 DNA test kit manufacturers, including the pros and cons of each.
CircleDNA claims to offer the world's most comprehensive test with up to 500 reports across 20 categories, namely:
- Cancer screening
- Common health risks
- Family planning
- Dementia & brain health
- Disease risk
- Drug response
- Sports & Fitness
- Stress & Sleep
- Physical traits
- Personality traits
- Behavioral traits
- Success traits
- Gender traits
- Music & dance
- Pollution susceptibility
- Well being
All samples processed by CircleDNA are processed in our own ISO-15189 internationally accredited laboratory, using the most advanced technology - Whole Exome Sequencing (WES). WES provides 31 million data points, 50x more than its competitors using traditional genotyping technology.
It utilises NovaSeqTM 6000 systems, manufactured in the USA, by Illumina - the global market leader in DNA sequencing equipment.
- 99.9% Analytical Accuracy Externally Validated by the Croucher Laboratory of Human Genomics
- Genetic Counselling: Each kit includes a complimentary 1:1 phone consultation with CircleDNA health professionals
- Convenient: Non-invasive, FDA-approved, easy-to-use test kit, with free delivery both ways
- Personalised Reports through Mobile App: your unique genetic results, as well as personalised recommendations, at your finger tips
- Private & Secure: CircleDNA is built on unparalleled data protection with leading ISO-27001 security
- Affordable: the base DNA kit costs less RM 500+ (after 30% discount code if you use the special link over HERE)
- 30 days Risk Free Trial (T & C applies)
- Longer than usual duration before results are ready (18 business days) ~ comment: worth the wait for the accuracy and comprehensive-ness, if you go for the premium kit.
Watch video below - Reviewing my exact DNA test result, no holds barred
2. MyHeritage DNA Test Kit - Ancestry & Ethnicity Genetic Testing
With their database of 42 different ethnicities from across the world, MyHeritage provides most people with answers to their ancestry.
MyHeritage has a very comprehensive list of ethnicities to select from, far exceeding what other kits in the market provide. They use the best DNA matching technology and Chromosome Browser to match your DNA to other people’s DNA.
You can find new relatives, learn how closely you are related to them and even find out where your ancestors came from. You can even build your family tree online or for free using MyHeritage mobile app.
With tools that automatically match your family tree to other family trees, you can also make surprising and new family discoveries. You usually get results within 4 weeks of submitting your samples. You can use your secure MyHeritage account to view your results online.
- Offered in 42 languages
- Affordably priced
- The detailed tracker shows DNA kit processing status
- Multiple layers of encryption
- Manage multiple DNA kits from one account
- May take a long time to give results
- Complaints about receiving false test results
DNA tests not only give you an idea of your lineage. Kits like AncestryHealth core also help ascertain the health conditions you are predisposed to. You and your healthcare provider can accordingly make healthy lifestyle changes.
When it comes to your origins, AncestryHealth Core gives a concise ethnicity estimate. It includes historical and geographical details of the area and the people who lived there.
You learn about medical and health conditions that were passed down from one generation to another. This information proves valuable and gives you a clear picture of your family’s potential health risks.
Everything’s presented to you in a concise and easy to understand report. It includes suggestions to help improve your health for not only your future but also for generations.
- Indicates potential family health risks
- Affordably priced
- Easy to understand and use
- Shows your origins
- Provides clear and easy-to-understand reports
- Cannot be activated by people residing in NY, NJ, RI or Guam
- Complaints about poor service and wrong results
The 23andMe Health DNA testing kit not only helps find out if you have any predispositions but also suggests preventive measures. You can then consult with your healthcare provider to accordingly make any necessary lifestyle changes.
The kit also helps you learn about your ancestry features and find and connect with people sharing similar DNA. You can then create your family tree based on the DNA results.
23andMe health DNA testing kit also lets you know more about yourself. You learn about things like your freckles and your taste and smell preferences. You can even find out why you detest the sound of nails scratching on blackboards.
All data collected through these DNA kits is encrypted, protected and stored in a secure and private place. Just remember to register your kit with your 23andme account online. It connects your saliva sample’s barcode to your account to let the company know the sample belongs to you.
- First genetic services producing reports meeting FDA clinical and scientific validity requirements
- Tests are conducted in CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited labs
- Data safely encrypted, protected and stored
- Helps create a family tree
- The sample cannot be processed without first registering on the site
- Complaints of not receiving reports despite submitting samples
True to their name, Rapid Paternity delivers your paternity test results within 2 business days of receiving your sample. Each sample is tested by two separate lab teams to produce the most accurate results.
For better accuracy and authenticity, Rapid Paternity sends out reports only after a trained expert signs it. They also send you email and text notifications to keep you updated about the different test stages.
Rapid Paternity keeps all reports confidential and is accessible only through their secure online portal. The DNA testing price includes lab and shipping fees, and tests 1 child, 1 possible biological father and optionally also the mother.
- Dual-process testing
- Money-back guarantee if unsatisfied with the kits
- A most accredited DNA test in the United States
- Easy to understand and use
- Efficient customer support team
- Complaints of not receiving reports even after two weeks
- Not available in New York
6. Vitagene DNA Test Kit: Personal Ancestry + Health Personal Genetic Reports
Vitagene DNA test kit is the only kit that tells which exercises, foods, and supplements are right for you. This helps design the most effective fitness routine and diet based on your genetics.
The DNA test covers more than 30 nutritional traits and even tells how your blood pressure reacts to exercise. Vitagene also provides tailored meals and more than 700 recipes to select from based on your genetics and goals.
The contents of DNA testing order include your genetic risk for each trait and its recommended lifestyle. It also tells your genetic ancestry and ethnicity through an interactive map.
Just remember to register your kit, and link it to your Vitagene account online. This lets the lab know the kit belongs to you. They cannot process your sample without this registration.
- Quick results in 4-6 weeks
- Learn about your genetic ancestry
- Provides personalized health recommendations
- Test processed in CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited labs
- The kit has to be first registered online before testing
- Complaints of reports with wrong information
Watch video below - Reviewing my exact DNA test result part 2
Why is DNA testing important?
DNA test enables you to reach your weight loss or fitness goals easier, know your risk profile before or early in pregnancy for family planning purposes and to understand your risks of cancers and major diseases, so you can start taking the right preventive actions early.
For legal reasons, DNA testing in Malaysia is also called genotyping that involves genealogy testing using DNA analysis. It is important for the following reasons:
- In the case of a DNA paternity test, the reason is primarily to establish if a man is the child’s biological father.
- Sometimes people seeking an immigrant visa to the US may have to perform a DNA test. It helps prove a family relationship when there is no other proof.
- Tests are also conducted for the forensic analysis of human DNA samples.
- Genetic ancestry tests are conducted to find out much more about a person’s history.
- It helps find out if there’s any genetic predisposition towards any specific health conditions like cystitis, obesity or cancer.
Is DNA Testing worth it?
It is worth it if you want to live healthier and longer because it enables you to focus on the right nutrition and exercise type based on your DNA. Aside from that, you discover your risks of critical illnesses and other health risks early so that you can take proactive preventive screening or action
What DNA Testing is the Best?
Circle DNA currently because it uses Whole Exome Sequencing Technology (WES). WES provides 31 million data points, 50x more than its competitors using traditional genotyping technology.
How DNA Testing is done?
DNA testing is done by ordering your DNA test kit delivered to your home. You take saliva swabs and then send it back to the DNA testing provider laboratory. When the result is ready in a few weeks, you will get your DNA test report, some provider even provide 1on1 genetic consultation
How do you test paternity?
A DNA paternity test helps a father secure the rights to the child’s support. It helps bring him to accept his child and develop a father-child relationship.
A sample, usually by swabbing the cheek, is collected and tested. The swab contains cells that determines the person’s genetic profile. Everyone gets half their genetic information from their mother and father. So if the child’s results contain fragments that do not match the supposed father’s DNA, then he’s not the natural father.
How long does the test take?
The duration between taking the test and getting the results depends on how quickly the laboratory receives your sample. Generally, most laboratories can give results within 2 to 3 days of receiving your sample. Some laboratories, however, can and will expedite the results based on your need.
Most DNA testing kits available in Malaysia are 99.99% accurate. In some cases, it may even be 100% accurate, if the alleged father’s and child’s genetic markers match.
How much does DNA testing cost in Malaysia?
A typical paternity test cost in Malaysia is between RM 500 and RM 3,000
Can a DNA test be wrong?
In all honesty, this question does not have a straightforward answer. And that’s because each DNA testing company has its database. While some database parts may be similar, others are different.
Some may over-represent a particular ethnicity or have different data. There is also the possibility of errors occurring while extracting DNA. All of this collectively makes it difficult to adopt any standards of accuracy.
While some experts feel the results are valid, others are skeptical about the results. It’s recommended that you decide on the result validity based on what you know about your family history.
Accuracy of at- home DNA testing kits
While most companies assure 99.99% DNA testing accuracy in their rest results, there is always the 0.01% element of doubt. You never know when you are unlucky and end up with a wrong result.
Final words - is DIY DNA test at home worth it?
Home DNA testing is indeed fun and interesting. It also teaches you a lot about your family tree, paternity and health predispositions. However, it should not be the only basis for serious health or legal decisions like child custody or cancer treatment. It is always better to get a second lab opinion about something serious.