DNA can be thought of as a self-replicating set of instructions for life. Its is a chain made up of units called nucleotides, of which there are 4 types commonly represented by the letters A, T, C and G. The order and combination (sequence) of these letters within the DNA chain encode the instructions for life, similar to a written language.
Your DNA is organised into very long and tightly packed units called chromosomes, each millions of nucleotides in length. Your genome is made up of 23 pairs of chromosomes; 22 of these pairs are called 'autosomes';, with the remaining 23rd pair representing the sex chromosomes: 'XX' for females, and 'XY' for males. Together with your mitochondrial DNA, this complete set of chromosomes represents your entire genome. A copy of your genome can be found in almost every living cell within your body, such as skin cells, brain cells and muscle cells.
Your genome will be more than 99% identical to that of every other person alive today, but as the genome has a combined length of over 3 billion nucleotides that 1% of variability represents potentially many millions of differences, and it is these differences, called DNA polymorphisms, or 'markers', that make you genetically unique.
From a simple mouth swab, Living DNA uses advanced technology to read sections of your genome code to reveal your ancestry. The Living DNA ancestry test examines over 650,000 DNA polymorphisms using the Living DNA Orion chip. Built using the latest BeadChip technology from the market leader Illumina, this chip is the basis to providing a detailed picture of ancestry, covering three main areas: - Family Ancestry � testing over 600,000 autosomal (�regular� DNA) markers - Motherline � testing over 4,000 mitochondrial (maternal) DNA markers - Fatherline � testing over 20,000 Y-chromosomal (paternal) DNA markers.
Once your DNA has been processed in the laboratory, your DNA results are recorded. This initial written record that describes your results against the over 650,000 markers on the Living DNA Orion chip is referred to as your 'raw data'.
This test is not intended to be used for other purposes, beyond those defined by Living DNA. It is not intended to be used as a medical diagnostic tool, or for paternity and forensic testing, as this test has not been validated for such uses.
We will not seek to identify any genetic information about you without your prior consent, beyond that which is needed to provide you with your Living DNA ancestry test results.
We may offer you additional services that you will have to specifically elect to participate in. This may include the opportunity to be part of research studies in which your test results would be used.
There are potentially significant factors to consider in having a DNA test, and having your genetic information available.
The results of your Living DNA ancestry test may show that your ethnicity is not what you expect. The results (and your raw data) may also show you that people who you thought were relatives, may in fact not be biologically related to you. In the course of researching your ancestry using your raw data, you may discover relatives or branches of your family tree that you were not aware of.
Whilst our Living DNA ancestry test results will not reveal any health information to you, and despite the fact that our test has not been validated for diagnostic purposes, your raw data is capable of revealing a lot about you if further processing or analysis is carried out. For example, despite the fact that our test has not been validated for diagnostic purposes, and should not be used for that purpose, you may infer through your own further analysis/processing that it may, for example, show:
If you reveal information from your DNA test to your health practitioner, despite the fact that our test has not been validated for diagnostic purposes, it may form part of your health record, and through that form may ultimately be revealed to third parties such as insurers.
You may feel that having access to your raw data and the information that it can reveal brings with it unexpected responsibility, particularly where the information may potentially have implications for others who are related to you, and may also share the same risks. Unlike you they may not have chosen to take a DNA test, and so to have this information available to them.
You should view the decision to take a DNA test, and to receive information about your genetic makeup as permanent, and also be aware that genetic science is a relatively new field that is developing quickly. This means that what you can learn from your genetic information in the future is likely to increase significantly, and potentially in ways that we cannot currently predict. It also means that the results of your Living DNA ancestry test are not fixed, but are likely to evolve, and to become more precise over time as further research is carried out.
You may find that in future, certain bodies may require you to disclose that you have had a DNA test, and may in time require you to reveal your genetic information to them. It may not be open to you to decline to answer this question, and providing an inaccurate response may be fraudulent. In particular having to reveal your raw data may be prejudicial to you
However, we have never been required to do this to date. We aim to keep your information private and will not disclose this wherever legally possible. Under certain conditions your information may be subject to legal disclosure. Living DNA will abide by these requests if required to do so by law or if our management team feel that the preservation and disclosure of the information is necessary to firstly comply with any legal or regulatory process and secondly that this information is needed to ensure our terms, conditions and policies are being followed.
V 1.1 Last Updated 20/09/2016
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