How long does a DNA test take?
There are many options to get a DNA test done online. Most of the Direct To Consumer (DTC) genetic tests are based on microarray DNA chips, which are capable of genotyping close to 700,000 genetic markers simultaneously. However, there are other points to consider, like quality of the sample, the quality of the DNA extracted, and demand. For example, if you bought your DNA kit during a Black Friday sale it is likely that your results will take longer to be processed, since millions of customers plan their purchases during that weekend. Here is brief analysis for your reference.
Ancestry DNA tests
People are really interested in taking ancestry tests and the number is increasing yearly, but these people get surprised that it seems pretty too long to get the results. I said the word “seems” because it’s from their own perspectives. I mean one can get surprised that others are surprised in a situation as this because genetic testing is not one hay-in-the-sack mission, since the turnaround time of most ancestry testing companies is short, owing to the fact that they are scouring each person’s genome for genetic variations! These are the durations you’d get your ancestry DNA results once your sample gets to the lab.
- AncestryDNA: 6-8 weeks
- 23andMe: 6-8 weeks
- MyHeritage: 3-4 weeks
- Living DNA: 10-12 weeks
- Family Tree DNA: 2-8 weeks (depending on the test you order)
Generally, it should be around 6-8 weeks as a standard. However, different factors can make it differ as different companies would observe different SNP numbers (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) or variants in genome and they would do that to determine ancestry.
Next, there may also be varying wait time as the company’s contract with their lab also is not the same as well as the quantity of the samples they are processing. Lastly, you should also be considering having an extended wait time if your test is taken when the lab is very busy, especially around holiday seasons like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and even Black Friday.
DNA health tests
There’s just a slight difference in the conducting of DNA health tests, fitness and nutrition from ancestry. I would rather say they are conducting more or less the same way as the slight is insignificant. Even Genetic test- whether it’s for fitness, drug response or carrier. An analysis is done on your DNA sample to get a look at specific points in your genome, and you may expect varying number and location depending on the type of test you go for. If a screening test is to be carried out for Alzheimer or breast cancer, just one or two specific genes would be looked or a handful of locations in the genes. Genetic nutrition tests on the other hand would look at more locations spread across your genome.
Below are some estimated wait homes for your health results once your sample gets to the
- 23andMe: 6-8 weeks
- DNAFit: 10 working days
- Fitness Genes: 2-3 weeks
- Muhdo: 4 weeks
Also, there are varying reasons why wait times may differ. To be safer and not go through the streets, it is better to search through the company’s “FAQ” or “How it Works” on their page to know exactly how long you would need to wait because there are so many types of DNA health tests they carry out.
Some companies will give you the access to upload your DNA file from a previous test you took (e.g. 23andMe or AncestryDNA). This option is easier, faster and cheaper because it saves the company from spending an extra amount to process your DNA themselves. This means you can skip the waiting time and get instant result the same day when you upload your DNA data.
Paternity and family DNA tests
On the other hand, Paternity tests, maternity tests, and other family relationship tests do not take so much time than either ancestry or health tests. The process of testing the DNA samples is quite different and straightforward, hence the shortest duration.
Familial DNA tests – Either the test is to determine who is who, let’s say to determine if your uncle is who he says he is or your siblings are actually yours and you’re not adopted, look at Short Tandem Repeats (STRs). These are the places in your genome in which your DNA pattern repeats itself in stretches, and passed down by parents to their children.
The moment your sample gets to the lab, here are some estimated turnaround times for paternity and familial testing companies
- Alpha Biolabs: next day (also offers same day results)
- Easy DNA: 3-5 working days
- DNA Diagnostics Center: 3-4 days
- Who’z the Daddy: 3-5 working days
- Home DNA Direct: 3-5 working days
Five days is estimated to be the turnaround time for paternity and other familial tests. Some labs van can give you your result the same day, but you can try to read the instructions to follow on long your sample would get to the lab to save yourself from impatience.
Whole Genome Sequencing
In 2003, the first whole genome sequencing, which cost about $2.7 billion was completed. Now, with about one thousand to one thousand three hundred pounds, it’s very possible to get your genome sequenced, depending on the lab you use and the sequencing depth you choose. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) looks at your entire genome, and records the whole sequence. You can also be provided a report to help you interpret the information contained in your DNA by the lab.
Here are the turnaround times for a couple of DNA sequencing labs once they receive your sample:
- Full Genomes: 12 weeks
- Dante Labs: 10-12 weeks