Genetic testing, also known as DNA testing, allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child's parentage or in general a person's ancestry or biological relationship between people.
A person is a being, such as a human, that has certain capacities or attributes constituting personhood, which in turn is defined differently by different authors in different disciplines, and by different cultures in different times and places.
A disease is a particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism.
An ancestor or forebear is a parent or the parent of an ancestor.
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In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders.
A genetic disorder is a genetic problem caused by one or more abnormalities in the genome, especially a condition that is present from birth.
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms.
A chromosome is a packaged and organized structure containing most of the DNA of a living organism.
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Genetic testing identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins.
The variety of genetic tests has expanded throughout the years.
In the past, the main genetic tests searched for abnormal chromosome numbers and mutations that lead to rare, inherited disorders.
In biology, a mutation is the permanent alteration of the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal DNA or other genetic elements.
Today, tests involve analyzing multiple genes to determine the risk of developing certain more common diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.
The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.
Several hundred genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed.
Because genetic mutations can directly affect the structure of the proteins they code for, testing for specific genetic diseases can also be accomplished by looking at those proteins or their metabolites, or looking at stained or fluorescent chromosomes under a microscope.
This article focuses on genetic testing for medical purposes.
DNA sequencing, which actually produces a sequences of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts, is used in molecular biology, evolutionary biology, metagenomics, epidemiology, ecology, and microbiome research.
Molecular biology concerns the molecular basis of biological activity between biomolecules in the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA, RNA and proteins and their biosynthesis, as well as the regulation of these interactions.
Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes that produced the diversity of life on Earth starting from a single origin of life.
A microbiota is "the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space".