What is DNA?

What is DNA?

DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) is the blueprint or code that makes you who you are. It is made up building blocks, known as nucleotides, identified with the letters A, G, C and T. Environmental influences in your life also play an important role in making you who you are and interact with your genetic makeup. There are 3.5 billion letters in the human genome, with about 3.5 million common variants. To the left you see how we see these variants in your DNA with a method call High Resolution Melting (HRM). Theranostics lab is agnostic to the use of genomic technologies, meaning a number of different methods may be used including HRM, Mass Spectrometry or Gene sequencing.


Do I have to visit a blood collection centre to give a sample?

No. A simple cheek swab using the instructions provided is all that is required. This can be peformed at home or in your GP’s office and is quick and painless.

What is a gene?

A gene is a segment of DNA which codes for a specific protein in your body. You have about 28,000 genes in your genome. A gene may have variations within it (i.e. altered, deleted or inserted letters) which may alter the function of the gene. These variations may predispose you to disease or influence the way in which you respond to drugs.

What is a SNP?

A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; pronounced “SNiP”) is a single letter change which may or may not alter a protein product of a gene. A SNP is one example of genetic variation. Copy number variants (CNVs), insertions/deletions (Indels) and translocations are other examples. These variations are what define the differences between people. Despite our outward differences we are very closely related and differ only by 0.01% in our genetic code.

What is genomics?

Your genome consists of 28,000 genes. Outside of these genes are strings of code that are also important in regulating the function of those genes. If all the letters making up your genome were placed into phone books it would be 22 storeys high i.e. there is a lot there! Genomics is the study of the global functionality of the genome. It is more involved with patterns and systems than specific individual variations. Genomics also encompasses the transcription of genes into the intermediary products (mRNA) that is then translated into protein products.

What is pharmacogenetics?

Pharmacogenetics, also known as pharmacogenomics (when applied globally to the genome) is the study of individual genetic variation and the relationship between that and drug response. It is well accepted that most drugs are only effective in about 40-60% of individuals. In nonresponders the drug is wasted and potentially even harmful.

Why do I have to input so many personal details?

Genetics is only part of the story in determining how you respond to drugs. Your age, weight and other environmental factors also have an important influence on how you respond to drugs and whether you are at risk of disease.

Why is ethnicity important?

Ethnicity is important in factoring a response to a drug as although we measure many individual genetic variants we cannot measure all variation. Ethnicity acts as a surrogate for some of this variation and enhances the ability to predict a response or disease risk.

What is a Biobank?

A Biobank is a collection of biological samples which can be blood, tissue or just refined DNA. It acts as a library for researchers to access to learn new information. Biobanks are carefully constructed to protect the identity of the individuals who have samples within them. They are governed by individuals who do not have conflicts of interest with the operations and outcomes of the biobank and who are concerned with protecting the rights of people with samples in the Biobank. Biobanks are extremely valuable resources that provide information about a particular population of people.


How much does it cost?

Our tests range from $135 to $195 inc GST (NZ Customers only). Look in "Products" to see this in alternative currencies.

What countries do you ship to?

We will ship DNA collection kits to most counties. Contact us here for more information.


How accurate is the genetic data you provide?

Our genetic tests are highly accurate (99.8%) in detecting your genetic code. The prediction scores however are based on probabilities and are not expected to be black and white. They offer information to allow you to make your own decision.