HomeDNA is a trademark of DDC, or DNA Diagnostics Center. It was set up in the quest to make DNA testing far more accessible and affordable to the general public than ever before. Today, DDC is linked with technological advancement and innovation, coupled with a reliable service that is great value for money.
The lab in Ohio has managed to test over 1 million samples every year for most of its existence. Those samples have been tested for paternity or other familial links as well as ancestry history and information for users regarding how their DNA impacts their general health. In fact, for over 20 years, HomeDNA has managed over 10 million samples from almost 170 countries.
HomeDNA has been used by celebrities like Prince and Anna Nicole Smith as well as on popular TV shows. Interestingly, it also gives back to the community through its Innocence Project which investigates DNA evidence in the case of convicts. Over a 20 year period, HomeDNA has therefore helped free 7 individuals who had been wrongly imprisoned.
HomeDNA prides itself on being trusted by its customers to keep its test results private.
Ease of Use
Once customers have purchased their kit, they will need to register it online. After this is done, a sample can be collected by using four cotton swabs included in the pack. The swab is swept on the inside of a cheek and placed into the prepaid envelope that is addressed to DDC labs for testing. Its extraction process is one of the easiest to use on the market. The company is confident enough in its testing methods that customers do not even have to worry about not eating or drinking 30 minutes prior to testing.
Users will receive an email once the sample has arrived. Then, within two to three weeks an email will be sent, notifying customers that their personalized report is ready to view on their secure online account.
To maintain security throughout, a customer’s sample will never have their name on it. Instead, a unique identifier in the form of a barcode is used. This does, however, make the process of testing easier throughout and reduces administrative errors.
There are a whole host of tests available through HomeDNA, and an even wider selection when you take into account the larger DDC range.
The HomeDNA Starter Ancestry test means you can locate where your ancestral DNA comes from and find the groups of the population that you have the most commonality with in terms of DNA make up – both in the past and in the modern day. It tests around 100 genetic markers.
Other tests you can buy as part of the HomeDNA collection kit are for Healthy Weight, Paternity, Skin Care and the health of your joints.
The HomeDNA Advance Ancestry Test also logs migration journeys on both your maternal and paternal side and manages to give specific locations and times. It is so accurate that it can even identify towns or villages that your ancestors have lived in. To do so, it analyzes over 80,0000 autosomal DNA markers, 41 gene pools and cross references against over 1000 different populations.
However, HomeDNA could do a little more genetic matching across its database, as many of its competitors do.
When it comes to your privacy, HomeDNA and DDC take customer security very seriously. To ensure that no personal DNA data is leaked, HomeDNA’s labs are fully secured and samples are tested with well established screen protocols.
Information will always remain confidential and DDC does not sell personal data to third parties. The company will never give information on you or your test results over the phone. If and when requested by the user, DDC will destroy the raw data from the logs.
HomeDNA’s report is clear and available online. You find the link from an email notification which takes you to HomeDNA’s website where you can sign into your account to view your results. Users can either see results there or download the raw data itself.
HomeDNA is slightly different from its competitors – as opposed to looking at specific countries, HomeDNA looks at gene pool regions. It does so to keep up with the waves of migration that have taken place around the globe over the years. While it does not go back as far as some DNA testing kits, it does give a great detail of information about migration patterns of families.
These patterns can be viewed on a map, which helps users visually see how both maternal and paternal lines moved to eventually meet. The map allows for zooming in and out as well as the ability to click on some points along the migration routes of your family. There, users can learn a great deal more about what ancestors may have seen or experienced during those times.
HomeDNA’s main tests for ancestry start at $69 and goes up to $124 for its Advanced Ancestry Test. It has lots of other add on tests available that can start as low as $39 for software, where you upload the raw data of your ancestors, and increases to $199 for ancestry tests, that are localised to specific regions like Asia or Africa – it is these tests that can even pinpoint towns and cities that your ancestors come from.
The health and beauty tests start at $99 for food and pet sensitivity or skin care testing, and increase to $164 for a paternity test.
More specific test for cats and dogs, either to do with their breeding or their health, all start at $125.
HomeDNA does offer help and assistance in interpreting results by way of its blog and FAQs.While not as comprehensive as one would think for a scientific product, they are helpful, clear and concise. There is also a number to call if you need any further help with your report.
HomeDNA is an easy and informative home testing kit that allows users to learn a great deal about themselves, just from their DNA. It has been doing so for over two decades and has helped an impressive number of users from around the world. While it does not have the capacity to look at customers’ pasts if they have hailed from African descent, it otherwise provides a very detailed report on past migrations routes of ancestors.
Those that want to know a lot about personal genetics should perhaps look at another home testing kit.