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Which DNA test kit should you get?



Are you distantly related to Beyoncé? You should probably find out.

Best for health


Take charge of your health with this detailed test that analyzes medical predispositions and inherited risks. (But don’t stop going to the doctor.)

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.


DNA test kits like AncestryDNA and 23andMe have become increasingly popular over the past few years — some 26 million people have taken them — and were a big gift item during the holiday season. The possibilities are quite literally endless — from finding your birth mother after 47 years to discovering that you’re related to a president.

Though DNA tests are being added to more and more people’s bucket lists, the sheer number of kits you can choose from is overwhelming. The result? A lot of interested folks opt out simply because they’re not sure which kit to buy. (Even DNA tests for your dog exist. Yeah.)

And that sucks, because finding out the who, what, and where that made you into the person you are is way too awesome to pass up. 

We did some digging to bring you the ultimate DNA test comparison guide. We’ve looked at seven of the most popular DNA test kits out there: AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, tellmeGen, Living DNA, Family Tree DNA, National Geographic Geno 2.0, and AfricanAncestry to give you the rundown on the differences between each kit so you can decide which one is the best for you. 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of each kit, it’s important to understand the fancy terms that will be mentioned frequently so you can get a handle on how DNA testing kits work.

How does DNA testing work?

Autosomal testing is the most basic and most popular means of genetic testing, commonly known as the family finder. Autosomal DNA tests look at 22 pairs of chromosomes not involved in determining a person’s sex. It is used for cousin and distant relative matching as well as mixture percentages, or your ethnic mix (as shown in those fancy pie charts from the commercials), plus common genetic traits, like heritable diseases and eye color. Each kit evaluated below does autosomal testing — with the exception of Nat Geo’s, which we’ll explain later.

mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) testing traces your mother’s lineage. These are the DNA strands passed down from mother to child. There’s very little chance that these could be altered, so your direct maternal line can be traced back quite far. 

Y-DNA testing focuses on the Y chromosome, which you probably recognize as the “male” chromosome, and can guess that this test traces your father’s lineage. These are the DNA strands passed down from father to son, so your paternal line can be traced. However, it is important to note that only males can use a Y-DNA test directly. Most times, women can connect their DNA profile with a father, brother, or other male relative to get these results.

Note: While autosomal testing shows who your relatives are, remember that this is a mix of both sides — and does not necessarily show you which side of the family they came from. Another thing to note is that mtDNA and Y-DNA tests can trace back anywhere from 20-100 generations, while autosomal tests can only trace back to 5-8 generations. 

Which DNA test kit should you get?

Image: pixabay

Health screenings and traits are the next iteration of DNA tests that are soon to become the norm. These use your genetic markers to discover what illnesses or diseases you may be at risk of inheriting, as well as how your risks compare to other people of your age, race, and gender. Traits like hair and eye color, lactose intolerance, or obesity are also analyzed, diving into the genes that make you unique or if you’re likely to pass a gene to your children.

So, what is the best DNA testing kit?

We’re so glad you asked. Keep reading to learn more about our picks below. Use the small grey arrow button to expand each card. (Shopping for a Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Prime Day sale? Peep our list of deals at the top of this page.)

Only test to deeply cover health and ethnicity • Tests the highest number of regions of all kits • Fastest turn around time
Reports of unresponsive customer service • Limited resources to connect with relatives
A best-seller for a reason, 23andMe covers all of your bases in detail from health, to traits, to ethnic breakdowns.

1. 23andMe

Health screenings plus a recent addition of over 1,000 regions makes it the most all-encompassing test out there.

  • Price:
  • Tests:
    Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA, health, traits
  • Wait time:
    2-4 weeks
Called 23andMe as a nod to each person’s unique set of 23 chromosomes, 23andMe is the only kit in this lineup to offer the big four: Health screenings and autosomal, maternal, and paternal testing. Fill the tube with your spit, send it back for testing, and get your results in 2-4 weeks. Results are kept indefinitely, so you can log on at any time to see or update your family tree.
The good: One super unique thing about 23andMe is that it does health and wellness screenings — it’s even FDA cleared. 23andMe’s health tests can give valuable information about genetic illnesses, health risks, carrier status on health conditions, or traits that may run in your family. This can provide you with an important heads up about any checkups you may want to schedule, but obviously can’t give a guaranteed view of your future health. Traits like sleep movement, celiac disease, and lactose intolerance are also analyzed.
In January 2019, 23andMe’s region count was upped to over 1,000 populations (with major increases in African and East Asian populations) — causing it to surpass AncestryDNA as the most robust test, which is no small feat. This amazing new testing pool gives each customer a more detailed Ancestry Detail Reports, where you can find maps and more refined breakdowns.
23andMe references datasets from about 10 million people — a number that has improved drastically over the past few years. In comparison to AncestryDNA, it’s still slightly less robust when it comes to building the family tree and being able to connect with found relatives. Think of it as more of a “where” than a “who.”
The downside: There isn’t much bad to say here, but a main theme among negative reviews seems to be janky customer service. It’s fine more often than not, but customers need to trust that they’ll get answers if their test is too generalized or not back on time.
The price: 23andMe is possibly the easiest to find, sold at retailers like Target as well as Amazon and 23andMe.com. Each place offers the same price: $79 for the Ancestry service and $199 for the Health+Ancestry service. 23andMe’s official website and Amazon offer sales frequently, while the other retailers offer coupons.

Largest DNA database • Great for adopted individuals finding biological family
No separate maternal/paternal test • Small East Asian genealogical pool • Many features require a subscription
With what’s said to be the largest gene database, AncestryDNA offers user-friendly family tree breakdowns and easy ways to connect with relatives.

2. AncestryDNA

Get a seamless process from start to finish with a massive genealogical pool and the ability to connect with found relatives.

  • Price:
  • Tests:
    Autosomal, traits
  • Wait time:
    6-8 weeks
Possibly the most well-known DNA service (and for good reason) most people use AncestryDNA to get that coveted pie chart and to uncover distant relatives hiding in their family tree. (Remember the woman who discovered she’s related to George Washington?) Just fill the tube with your spit, send it back for testing, and you’ll receive results in 6-8 weeks. 
The good: AncestryDNA pulls results from a very large genealogical pool (around 15 million DNA sets) and from some 700,000 locations in over 500 ethnic regions (thanks to migration data) around the world (26 of which come directly from the reference panel). The regions AncestryDNA pulls from trails decently far behind 23andMe, but they make up for it with the DNA collection they have.
Traits like eye color and earlobe shape are also being tapped into: As of November 2018, AncestryDNA offers a slightly more expensive kit that gives information on 18 inherited traits and attributes that can tell you why one kid has red hair and one doesn’t — or who gave you that gene that makes you hate cilantro.
DNA matches can be linked online to create your family tree, and if a family match is also signed up on Ancestry.com, you have the option to reach out and connect. Results also never go away and can be viewed indefinitely, as long as you keep up your subscription. Options to contact database matches are great (surpassing 15 million network members as of May 2019,, making this one of the best tests for adopted individuals to connect with biological relatives.
The downside: It does not offer separate mtDNA or Y-DNA tests, so if you’re looking for direct tracing of your mother or father’s direct line or results more specific to your maternal or paternal side, AncestryDNA may not be able to give those details. Also, people of East Asian descent may find AncestryDNA frustrating because they haven’t sample enough people yet to provide specific enough data for that part of the world. Ancestry.com also requires a subscription for many features, unlike, say, 23andMe, which does not. (You will still get your DNA results without a subscription, though.)
The price: A best seller on Amazon, the AncestryDNA kits normally go for $99 but are frequently on sale both on Amazon and Ancestry.com.

Extremely thorough report on medical predispositions • Medical and nutrition counseling • Free automatic updates forever • Focus on transparency
Small number of ethnicity regions • No connecting with relatives
Hypochondriacs will appreciate this deep dive into risks, inherited traits, and medication effects.

3. tellmeGen

Take charge of your health with this detailed test that analyzes medical predispositions and inherited risks. (But don’t stop going to the doctor.)

  • Price:
  • Tests:
    Autosomal, health, traits
  • Wait time:
    4-6 weeks
Alternate headline: The best test for hypochondriacs. Worrying about a mystery condition can be debilitating, and any warnings you can get offer such peace of mind. No DNA test’s health screenings can diagnose everything or replace real doctor visits, but tellmeGen‘s deep dive into risks and inherited traits can provide crucial insight for anyone wanting to be proactive about wellness. Just fill the tube with your spit, send it back for testing, and receive your results in four to six weeks.
The good: No other test pulls apart your medical history, identifies traits, or predicts possible future complications quite as precisely as tellmeGen. Your DNA is compared to over 550,000 markers to see how you fare against 125 different illnesses, as well as pinpoint any monogenic illnesses inherited through family members. Results are extremely thorough, organized into a four-part Health Map:

  1. Complex diseases broken down by symptoms and your risk factor compared to the average person of your race, age, and gender
  2. Inherited conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
  3. Pharmacological compatibility, or how your body handles certain medication
  4. Traits like hair color, baldness, or lactose intolerance

Transparency is clearly a priority: The site gives exact names of the technology used, provides lab certificates, and explains the encryption process for those worried about privacy. Aside from mentions of lack of ancestry breakdowns (which tellmeGen’s site is totally honest about), the kit hails stellar Amazon reviews and countless mentions of accurate results. If and when mtDNA, Y-DNA, and neanderthal testing are added like tellmeGen’s ancestry tab says, 23andMe better look out.
The bad: Though it’s technically also an ancestry test, the gene pool used to yield ethnicity breakdowns has a lot of growing to do. Less than 3,000 people make up the ethnic database so far, and regions in the Middle East and Asia are particularly limited. Obviously, trying to connect with relatives will be a bust. You will get a few percentages for your ethnic pie chart, but that’s about it. 
However, tellmeGen deserves major kudos for being up front about this: They point out which groups aren’t represented in an effort to save you time and money, and won’t try to convince you that the test is something it’s not.
The price: The all-encompassing kit is unsurprisingly pricey at $199, but is frequently on sale at Amazon for as low as $139.

Cheapest DNA kit • Fastest results behind 23andMe • Yearly subscription tiers for more interaction with your results
Small number of regions tested • No separate maternal/paternal tracing • Limited resources for connecting with relatives
If you’re just interested in the pie chart and don’t care about contacting relatives, MyHeritage is a great option that won’t break the bank.

4. MyHeritage

If you don’t care about contacting relatives or maternal/paternal tracing, MyHeritage offers the coveted pie chart and quick results for cheap.

  • Price:
  • Tests:
  • Wait time:
    3-4 weeks
If you’re balling on a budget and are only looking for the autosomal testing, MyHeritage could be the DNA test for you. First timers may also find this kit the most appealing as it is the most user-friendly. Swab the inside of your cheek with the provided tool, send it back for testing, and have your results in 3-4 weeks. Results are kept for 25 years.
The good: MyHeritage is said to be the fastest and cheapest test, usually sending results back to participants in 3-4 weeks and not requiring a monthly-paid subscription to access results. MyHeritage also pulls from 42 graphic regions, which is pretty impressive for what you’re paying. DNA can be linked online to create a family tree, and there is an option to upload raw data — so if you’ve gotten some sort of genealogy tests done before or have outside genetics information that you’d like to use, it can easily be included in results.
The downside: Though MyHeritage uses a good number of geographical regions, it has the smallest matching database size out of the kits compared here (aside from Living DNA, which doesn’t have a database). It also does not offer separate mtDNA or Y-DNA tests, so if you’re looking to trace your mother or father’s direct line or results more specific to your maternal or paternal side, MyHeritage may not be able to give those details. You may also have to pay extra to access certain parts of you report.
The price: Prices fluctuate and sales happen often, but MyHeritage can be purchased on Amazon for $75 or MyHeritage.com for $59 to $79. Creating an account and logging back in to see results is free.

Unique info on Neanderthal connections • Trusted brand • Maternal and paternal line tracing
Least extensive autosomal tests • Long wait time
Geno 2.0 gives you the opportunity to see how much you have in common with Neanderthals — but we wouldn’t expect anything less from Nat Geo.

5. National Geographic Geno 2.0

Instead of the traditional family tree, Nat Geo’s whole exome sequencing will tell you how much you have in common with a Neanderthal.

  • Price:
  • Tests:
    Homonin ancestry, mtDNA, Y-DNA
  • Wait time:
    6-12 weeks
Or maybe you’ve already done a traditional DNA test kit and are itching for some more nitty gritty information. The National Geographic Geno 2.0 kit is unique in that it uses next-generation sequencing (hence the name) instead of genotyping technology. The kit also tells you where your ancestors came from (with maternal and paternal lines separated), but won’t go into as much detail as other kits. Fill the tube with your spit, send it back for testing, and get your results in 6-12 weeks. 
The good: Geno 2.0 users technology that no other kits use, meaning you’re getting info that no other kits can offer you. While genotyping looks for specific parts of DNA and pieces them together, next-generation sequencing is a speedier process that looks at the protein-encoding parts of your genome. Whole exome sequencing picks up information that genotyping can’t, making Nat Geo’s kit able to give you your Hominin ancestry — AKA the percentage of DNA that you have in common with a Neanderthal. How cool is that?
The bad: This kit puts its focus on Neanderthal stuff and not so much on tiny details to fill your pie chart. If you’ve done a DNA test before, you probably won’t mind this as you’ll already have those lineage percentages. However, if you’re a first-timer and are really looking to see where you hail from, Geno 2.0 may not be the most helpful.
Price: While the Nat Geo kit may not be quite as expansive as the others, you still get cool graphics with your results, as well as a custom video of your ancestry journey. Geno 2.0 goes for $99.99 on National Geographic’s website and Amazon, but is frequently on sale for as low as $59 (crazy).

Maternal and paternal tracing on the cheap • In-depth into the British Isles • Can upload outside info
Long wait time • Meh Amazon reviews
LivingDNA is making serious strides toward a top spot by offering detailed family trees at a fraction of competing prices.

6. Living DNA

Coining itself as a 3-in-1 DNA test, this is easily your cheapest option to trace both parents’ lines as well as the family finder.

  • Price:
  • Tests:
    Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA
  • Wait time:
    8-10 weeks
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck and definitely want all three tests done, Living DNA is your best bet. Another thing: If you know that most of your results will be in the UK or are most interested in the UK regions, Living DNA will be the kit for you as it goes very in-depth into the British Isles. Swab the inside of your cheek with the provided tool, send it back for testing, and have your results in 8-10 weeks. Results are kept indefinitely, so you can log on at any time to see or update your family tree.
The good: Living DNA offers mtDNA and Y-DNA tests in the basic kit with no extra charge, ’nuff said — many other tests make you pay extra and that’s if they even offer it to begin with. It pulls info from more than 80 geographical regions and 650,00 genetic markers going back 80,000 (!!!) years, making them able to provide pretty substantial detail when it comes to your pie chart —especially for the price. 
In February 2019, Living DNA closed a huge gap in the competition by (finally) adding a matching service to connect with found relatives. The free service is called Family Networks, and though it won’t yet have the numbers that AncestryDNA does, it’s promising to at least have the option. The company is constantly conducting surveys, testing new features, and adding new regions, which you can find in the news section.
The downside: With samples from more than 80 regions, LivingDNA’s test coverage is pretty vast for the price — but it still won’t be able to pinpoint origins as specifically as test with 300 or more (especially when it comes to coverage of Native Americans). Essentially, it’s clean cut way to get that maternal and paternal tracing without paying for frills. Living DNA also has some of the slowest turnaround times, though wait time recently decreased from 10-12 weeks to 8-10 weeks.
The price: Living DNA is $99 (but sometimes on sale for $49) and available on Amazon and the LivingDNA site. If you can catch a sale, that’s an extremely fair price for all of the information you’re getting. For $168 total, you can add a personalized ancestry book to your order.

Most in-depth maternal and paternal results • Many options to contact database matches • Can upload outside info
All tests must be done separately • Amazon reviews aren’t great • Online results need to be modernized
FamilyTree DNA is said to peel apart maternal and paternal lines better than other kits — but is it worth the price?

7. FamilyTreeDNA

Prices are weirdly steep, but FamilyTreeDNA offers detailed maternal and paternal line tracing you can’t find anywhere else.

  • Price:
  • Tests:
    Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA
  • Wait time:
    6-8 weeks
Said to have the most extensive tests of the bunch, FamilyTreeDNA is great if you’re looking for serious genealogy, as it’s been said to be the only kit that can decipher whether a relative is from your mother or father’s side of the family. Swab the inside of your cheek with the provided tool, send it back for testing, and have your results in 6-8 weeks. Results are kept for 25 years.
The good: Not only is there the option for mtDNA and Y-DNA analysis, it is said to give the most in-depth maternal and paternal results compared to other kits. To justify paying for tests separately, FamilyTreeDNA claims that its comparisons of 500 STR (short tandem repeat) markers, or specific segments of DNA that people share, and 150,000 of SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) make them able to find what ancestors a specific population has in common, as well as identify if a relative is from your mother or father’s line. Check out the extremely detailed breakdown of each Haplotree and its regions here.
Options to contact database matches are great, making this one of the best tests for adopted individuals to connect with biological relatives — as long as you can deal with a website that looks like it’s from 2002.
The downside: Though FamilyTreeDNA does offer the mtDNA and Y-DNA tests as well as autosomal, all three tests must be conducted separately. This means that you’ll need three different swabs and three different payments, making this the most expensive kit if you want all three tests done. And, while most serious family finders would be down to pay extra for more detailed results, Family Tree DNA’s reviews on Amazon are slightly worrisome and tell us that first-timers could definitely manage to opt for a cheaper kit.
The price: Prices start at $79.99 for the autosomal Family Finder on FamilyTreeDNA.com or Amazon. Adding the Y-DNA test brings it up to $169, while adding the mtDNA will be $199. I mean, at least you’re not paying for anything you don’t want.

Highest samples of indigenous African ethnicities and DNA out there • Unique breakdown by tribe • Excellent customer service
Most expensive test by far • Tests may be inconclusive due to small gene pool • Site isn’t very user-friendly
The only DNA test to hone in on African tribes, AfricanDNA is slightly wonky but praised by a few celebrities.

8. AfricanAncestry

While not as advanced as other kits, AfricanAncestry is the extensive reporting on African tribes that we’ve been waiting for.

  • Tests:
    Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA
  • Price:
  • Wait time:
    6-8 weeks
The name of the test probably gives away its main selling point: AfricanAncestry is the only test on the market that focuses specifically on African regions. Maybe you’ve heard of it — considering it’s gotten shoutouts from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Erykah Badu, and Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman. It’s not the most robust test, but gets into the nitty gritty on the few areas it does cover. Fill the tube with your spit, send it in, and get your results back in 6-8 weeks.
The good:  AfricanAncestry takes the cake when it comes to deep-diving into African heritage — up to 2,000 years of it. The company tests over 200 African ethnicities and 33,000 indigenous DNA samples from 40 African countries, offering the potential to trace back to individual tribes like Fulani, Tikar, or Hasa. Both men and women can trace their maternal roots and men can trace paternal as well.
It’s essentially a big celebration of African heritage, which has gotten it a lot of love from customers on social media singing praises about long-awaited details on ancestors’ tribes. It’s owned by black people for black people, which is a breath of fresh air in a world of DNA tests that can mostly lean Eurocentric.
The downside: For starters, you’ll be shelling out $300 for a single test. That’s a hefty price to ask for using a sample pool this sparse, as it gives a lot of leeway for results to be inconclusive and requiring a do-over. Some reviews mention that their results were extremely generalized, but like any DNA test, satisfaction is on a person by person basis. The site does let you know that accuracy plateaus at 85%, and though 33,000 DNA samples isn’t huge, it’s much better than what competitors can offer. 
The price: Yikes. There’s a MatriClan Test for everyone and a PatriClan Test just for men both going for $299, and a Family Celebration Kit that includes two kits, a few gifts, and the option to analyze a deceased person’s DNA for $680. For now, it’s only available on AfricanAncestry’s official site.

Yep, that’s a thing. Just like humans use DNA tests to piece together their family tree, get an ethnicity breakdown, or learn about medical predispositions, doggie DNA tests can present info about your dog’s family history, breed mix, and risk of disease in the future. They’re an especially handy tool for pup parents of rescues and super-mixed mutts.

Outstanding customer service • Stellar Amazon reviews • Tons of genetic markers • Included health and disease test
Priciest of the bunch • Longest possible wait time
With acutely detailed health screenings and maternal and paternal tracing, this test is just as in depth as tests for humans.

9. Embark

Spending as much as 23andMe’s test costs gets you a full look at your dog’s familial and medical history.

  • Breed tests:
  • Wait time:
    3-7 weeks
  • Health screening:
  • Wolf and coyote test:
We didn’t just put this at the top because of the dog pun (though that is an added bonus). You trust only the best for your fur baby, and Embark is nothing but praised by customers on Amazon. This is due to the fact that the people at Embark care about your dog just as much as you do — it tests both the maternal and paternal line of your dog, going all the way back to great grandparents. Just swab the inside of your dog’s cheek, send the tool back, and get your results in three to seven weeks.
The good: They’ll test for a crazy 256 quadrillion genes and over 200 dog breeds, and are even able to tell you if your dog has any wolf or coyote in his or her blood. As for the health test, Embark screens for over 175 diseases and known medical issues for dogs, which is the highest number we’ve seen (AKA next to nothing will get past this test). 
Let’s also discuss the stellar customer service: Unlike when you take your pet to a giant vet office and they want you to get in and out as fast as possible, Embark makes it obvious that they want the best for your pet. If something worrisome shows up in the health screening, they won’t just send an envelope to your house that says “Surprise, your dog is dying” — they’ll call you and break the news like a doctor would, and then talk you through the options. Amazing.
The downside: 3-7 weeks is much quicker wait time than a lot of the human DNA tests, but it could feel like forever when you’re waiting to hear back about your new rescue or need the info for medical purposes.  
The price: Forking over $199 (just as much as 23andMe’s most in-depth test) could be a downside — but you truly get what you pay for. If you need a bit more convincing, just read a few more Amazon reviews. Seriously, people are excited about this.

Breed database absolutely destroys that of competitors • Optional genetic disease screening • Fast return time
Low number of genetic markers • Sometimes contradicting results
Pinning down a mutt’s breeds is often a shot in the dark, but this robust collection of breeds is your best bet.

10. Wisdom Panel 3.0

A massive pool of breeds to test for makes it possible to discover the makeup of even the most confusingly mixed mutts.

  • Breed tests:
  • Wait time:
    2-3 weeks
  • Health screening:
  • Wolf and coyote test:
If you cannot for the life of you figure out what random mix of breeds your dog could possibly be, Wisdom Panel’s vast breed database may be able to give you answers that other kits gloss over. Just swab the inside of your dog’s cheek with the provided tool, send it back, and get your results in two to three weeks.
The good: This Amazon’s Choice kit claims to have the largest breed database in the dog DNA market, testing for over 350 canine breeds — that’s accounting for 50 more breeds than most other tests. Remember, if your dog is a mutt and both of his parents were mutts, the chance of finding the exact percentages of each breed can be slightly limited, and something like “51% mixed breed” may come back if some older grandparent genes can’t be untangled. (Same for dogs imported from dogs imported from outside the U.S.) Worth a shot, though.
Wisdom Panel also offers a kit that combines the classic DNA test with a Disease Detection test, which will screen your dog’s DNA for over 150 genetic health conditions common in dogs. (Even if you only do the DNA kit, Wisdom Panel will test for the potentially life-saving mdr1 drug sensitivity at no extra cost. Sweet.) 
The downside: Compared to Embark, Wisdom Panel tests for less genetic markers. Breakdowns of your dog’s familial line (like whether the mom or dad dog was which breed) or what traits or diseases they may inherit likely won’t have a lot of depth.
The price: The flexibility here is nice as you only have to pay for what info you want. The basic test of your dog’s breed breakdown goes for $49.99, and opting for Wisdom Panel’s Disease Detection Kit ups the price to $149.99. The health screening tests for about 75 less diseases than Embark, but it’s a great value either way.

Most all-encompassing test • Goes past genetic info • DNA test for cats, too
Pricey for the value • Doesn’t explain results well • Results may take longer than expected
Not sure how to parent your pup? HomeDNA gives a customized life plan, but DNA results are less detailed.

11. HomeDNA Orivet Dog DNA Test and Life Plan

The life plan gives your dog a customized diet, exercise, and play routine to maximize lifespan and happiness.

  • Breed tests:
  • Wait time:
    3 weeks
  • Health screening:
  • Wolf and coyote test:
Determining what type of dog you actually have is obviously cool, and finding out if there are any medical issues that you need to prepare for is handy — but none of it takes the place of knowing how parent your breed. HomeDNA puts that info into perspective with tangible suggestions related to eating and exercise routines. Swab the inside of your dog’s cheek with the provided tool, send it back, and get your results in around three weeks.
The good: After comparing your dog’s genes to over 220 breeds, HomeDNA testing takes things to the next level by transforming the info into a “life plan” for your dog to live the longest, happiest life possible. They’ll give personalized (er, doggo-ized) information about the best food to feed your dog, how big that specific mix should grow to be, and even the best way to play and interact with your dog’s breed. (This also makes for an A+ bonding experience.) There’s also a DNA test for cats, and we stan HomeDNA for that reason alone.
HomeDNA offers a package with a health screening (instead of the breed finder) and life plan package, testing your dog for over 100 genetic diseases and traits that pose health risks. 
The downside: The value of the mixed breed and personalized lifestyle guide is fantastic, but a health screening for $125 just isn’t as good of a deal as other kits (especially when Home DNA only tests for 100 medical issues vs. upwards of 175 with competitors). Results also have a tendency to be vague and not send in a timely manner.
The price: Both the Mixed Breed Dog Identification and Life Plan test and the Health Screen and Life Plan test are $125 a pop.

Budget-friendly • Impressive reviews for the price • Health screening included
No purebred confirmation • Results could be really detailed or really worthless
It’ll answer most of your mixed-breed questions without breaking the bank, but don’t expect vet-level specifics.

12. Find My Pet

This budget-friendly test does a breed breakdown and health screening for less than a bag of fancy dog food.

  • Breed tests:
  • Wait time:
    3-4 weeks
  • Health screening:
  • Wolf and coyote test:

Dog food and vet visits are expensive, man, and there’s gotta be an option for a “just curios” pet DNA test rather than one to seriously identify health issues. Find My Pet is the only well-reviewed kit we’ve seen to offer both a breed breakdown screening and health screening together for less than the cost of a grooming appointment at Petco. Just swab the inside of your dog’s cheek, send the tool back, and get your results in three to four weeks. 
The good: It’s rare to find an affordable dog DNA test that gives a worthwhile breakdown at all, so Find My Pet deserves kudos for this in-depth of results for the price point. But keep your expectations in check — the idea is slightly “you get what you pay for” here, so your dog’s ancestry percentages probably won’t be as detailed as they would be with a more expensive kit, as Find My Pet doesn’t incorporate quite as many breeds or genetic markers. However, you may not even care to get that specific, and Find My Pet will at least satisfy your curiosity about what breed of pup you have on your hands.
The bad: This test is kind of hit or miss. Some reviews say that the results were way too inconclusive despite only being out $70, but others insist that Find My Pet’s results were more specific than results received by one of the top kits. (Note: Find My Pet will not confirm if your dog is a purebred or not.)
The price: Again, most decent tests won’t come under $100, let alone under $70. Find My Pet offers the breed breakdown plus a health screening at no additional cost, and for a database with over 200 breeds, it’s a bang for your buck.


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The Trump campaign celebrated a growth record that Democrats downplayed.



The White House celebrated economic growth numbers for the third quarter released on Thursday, even as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign sought to throw cold water on the report — the last major data release leading up to the Nov. 3 election — and warned that the economic recovery was losing steam.

The economy grew at a record pace last quarter, but the upswing was a partial bounce-back after an enormous decline and left the economy smaller than it was before the pandemic. The White House took no notice of those glum caveats.

“This record economic growth is absolute validation of President Trump’s policies, which create jobs and opportunities for Americans in every corner of the country,” Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign said in a statement, highlighting a rebound of 33.1 percent at an annualized rate. Mr. Trump heralded the data on Twitter, posting that he was “so glad” that the number had come out before Election Day.

The annualized rate that the White House emphasized extrapolates growth numbers as if the current pace held up for a year, and risks overstating big swings. Because the economy’s growth has been so volatile amid the pandemic, economists have urged focusing on quarterly numbers.

Those showed a 7.4 percent gain in the third quarter. That rebound, by far the biggest since reliable statistics began after World War II, still leaves the economy short of its pre-pandemic levels. The pace of recovery has also slowed, and now coronavirus cases are rising again across much of the United States, raising the prospect of further pullback.

“The recovery is stalling out, thanks to Trump’s refusal to have a serious plan to deal with Covid or to pass a new economic relief plan for workers, small businesses and communities,” Mr. Biden’s campaign said in a release ahead of Thursday’s report. The rebound was widely expected, and the campaign characterized it as “a partial return from a catastrophic hit.”

Economists have warned that the recovery could face serious roadblocks ahead. Temporary measures meant to shore up households and businesses — including unemployment insurance supplements and forgivable loans — have run dry. Swaths of the service sector remain shut down as the virus continues to spread, and job losses that were temporary are increasingly turning permanent.

“With coronavirus infections hitting a record high in recent days and any additional fiscal stimulus unlikely to arrive until, at the earliest, the start of next year, further progress will be much slower,” Paul Ashworth, chief United States economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note following the report.


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Black and Hispanic workers, especially women, lag in the U.S. economic recovery.



The surge in economic output in the third quarter set a record, but the recovery isn’t reaching everyone.

Economists have long warned that aggregate statistics like gross domestic product can obscure important differences beneath the surface. In the aftermath of the last recession, for example, G.D.P. returned to its previous level in early 2011, even as poverty rates remained high and the unemployment rate for Black Americans was above 15 percent.

Aggregate statistics could be even more misleading during the current crisis. The job losses in the initial months of the pandemic disproportionately struck low-wage service workers, many of them Black and Hispanic women. Service-sector jobs have been slow to return, while school closings are keeping many parents, especially mothers, from returning to work. Nearly half a million Hispanic women have left the labor force over the last three months.

“If we’re thinking that the economy is recovering completely and uniformly, that is simply not the case,” said Michelle Holder, an economist at John Jay College in New York. “This rebound is unevenly distributed along racial and gender lines.”

The G.D.P. report released Thursday doesn’t break down the data by race, sex or income. But other sources make the disparities clear. A pair of studies by researchers at the Urban Institute released this week found that Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to have lost jobs or income since March, and were twice as likely as white adults to experience food insecurity in September.

The financial impact of the pandemic hit many of the families that were least able to afford it, even as white-collar workers were largely spared, said Michael Karpman, an Urban Institute researcher and one of the studies’ authors.

“A lot of people who were already in a precarious position before the pandemic are now in worse shape, whereas people who were better off have generally been faring better financially,” he said.

Federal relief programs, such as expanded unemployment benefits, helped offset the damage for many families in the first months of the pandemic. But those programs have mostly ended, and talks to revive them have stalled in Washington. With virus cases surging in much of the country, Mr. Karpman warned, the economic toll could increase.

“There could be a lot more hardship coming up this winter if there’s not more relief from Congress, with the impact falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic workers and their families,” he said.


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Ant Challenged Beijing and Prospered. Now It Toes the Line.



As Jack Ma of Alibaba helped turn China into the world’s biggest e-commerce market over the past two decades, he was also vowing to pull off a more audacious transformation.

“If the banks don’t change, we’ll change the banks,” he said in 2008, decrying how hard it was for small businesses in China to borrow from government-run lenders.

“The financial industry needs disrupters,” he told People’s Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper, a few years later. His goal, he said, was to make banks and other state-owned enterprises “feel unwell.”

The scope of Mr. Ma’s success is becoming clearer. The vehicle for his financial-technology ambitions, an Alibaba spinoff called Ant Group, is preparing for the largest initial public offering on record. Ant is set to raise $34 billion by selling its shares to the public in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to stock exchange documents released on Monday. After the listing, Ant would be worth around $310 billion, much more than many global banks.

The company is going public not as a scrappy upstart, but as a leviathan deeply dependent on the good will of the government Mr. Ma once relished prodding.

More than 730 million people use Ant’s Alipay app every month to pay for lunch, invest their savings and shop on credit. Yet Alipay’s size and importance have made it an inevitable target for China’s regulators, which have already brought its business to heel in certain areas.

These days, Ant talks mostly about creating partnerships with big banks, not disrupting or supplanting them. Several government-owned funds and institutions are Ant shareholders and stand to profit handsomely from the public offering.

The question now is how much higher Ant can fly without provoking the Chinese authorities into clipping its wings further.

Excitable investors see Ant as a buzzy internet innovator. The risk is that it becomes more like a heavily regulated “financial digital utility,” said Fraser Howie, the co-author of “Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise.”

“Utility stocks, as far as I remember, were not the ones to be seen as the most exciting,” Mr. Howie said.

Ant declined to comment, citing the quiet period demanded by regulators before its share sale.

The company has played give-and-take with Beijing for years. As smartphone payments became ubiquitous in China, Ant found itself managing huge piles of money in Alipay users’ virtual wallets. The central bank made it park those funds in special accounts where they would earn minimal interest.

After people piled into an easy-to-use investment fund inside Alipay, the government forced the fund to shed risk and lower returns. Regulators curbed a plan to use Alipay data as the basis for a credit-scoring system akin to Americans’ FICO scores.

China’s Supreme Court this summer capped interest rates for consumer loans, though it was unclear how the ceiling would apply to Ant. The central bank is preparing a new virtual currency that could compete against Alipay and another digital wallet, the messaging app WeChat, as an everyday payment tool.

Ant has learned ways of keeping the authorities on its side. Mr. Ma once boasted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about never taking money from the Chinese government. Today, funds associated with China’s social security system, its sovereign wealth fund, a state-owned life insurance company and the national postal carrier hold stakes in Ant. The I.P.O. is likely to increase the value of their holdings considerably.

“That’s how the state gets its payoff,” Mr. Howie said. With Ant, he said, “the line between state-owned enterprise and private enterprise is highly, highly blurred.”

China, in less than two generations, went from having a state-planned financial system to being at the global vanguard of internet finance, with trillions of dollars in transactions being made on mobile devices each year. Alipay had a lot to do with it.

Alibaba created the service in the early 2000s to hold payments for online purchases in escrow. Its broader usefulness quickly became clear in a country that mostly missed out on the credit card era. Features were added and users piled in. It became impossible for regulators and banks not to see the app as a threat.

ImageAnt Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Credit…Alex Plavevski/EPA, via Shutterstock

A big test came when Ant began making an offer to Alipay users: Park your money in a section of the app called Yu’ebao, which means “leftover treasure,” and we will pay you more than the low rates fixed by the government at banks.

People could invest as much or as little as they wanted, making them feel like they were putting their pocket change to use. Yu’ebao was a hit, becoming one of the world’s largest money market funds.

The banks were terrified. One commentator for a state broadcaster called the fund a “vampire” and a “parasite.”

Still, “all the main regulators remained unanimous in saying that this was a positive thing for the Chinese financial system,” said Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

“If you can’t actually reform the banks,” Mr. Chorzempa said, “you can inject more competition.”

But then came worries about shadowy, unregulated corners of finance and the dangers they posed to the wider economy. Today, Chinese regulators are tightening supervision of financial holding companies, Ant included. Beijing has kept close watch on the financial instruments that small lenders create out of their consumer loans and sell to investors. Such securities help Ant fund some of its lending. But they also amplify the blowup if too many of those loans aren’t repaid.

“Those kinds of derivative products are something the government is really concerned about,” said Tian X. Hou, founder of the research firm TH Data Capital. Given Ant’s size, she said, “the government should be concerned.”

The broader worry for China is about growing levels of household debt. Beijing wants to cultivate a consumer economy, but excessive borrowing could eventually weigh on people’s spending power. The names of two of Alipay’s popular credit functions, Huabei and Jiebei, are jaunty invitations to spend and borrow.

Huang Ling, 22, started using Huabei when she was in high school. At the time, she didn’t qualify for a credit card. With Huabei’s help, she bought a drone, a scooter, a laptop and more.

The credit line made her feel rich. It also made her realize that if she actually wanted to be rich, she had to get busy.

“Living beyond my means forced me to work harder,” Ms. Huang said.

First, she opened a clothing shop in her hometown, Nanchang, in southeastern China. Then she started an advertising company in the inland metropolis of Chongqing. When the business needed cash, she borrowed from Jiebei.

Online shopping became a way to soothe daily anxieties, and Ms. Huang sometimes racked up thousands of dollars in Huabei bills, which only made her even more anxious. When the pandemic slammed her business, she started falling behind on her payments. That cast her into a deep depression.

Finally, early this month, with her parents’ help, she paid off her debts and closed her Huabei and Jiebei accounts. She felt “elated,” she said.

China’s recent troubles with freewheeling online loan platforms have put the government under pressure to protect ordinary borrowers.

Ant is helped by the fact that its business lines up with many of the Chinese leadership’s priorities: encouraging entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, and expanding the middle class. This year, the company helped the eastern city of Hangzhou, where it is based, set up an early version of the government’s app-based system for dictating coronavirus quarantines.

Such coziness is bound to raise hackles overseas. In Washington, Chinese tech companies that are seen as close to the government are radioactive.

In January 2017, Eric Jing, then Ant’s chief executive, said the company aimed to be serving two billion users worldwide within a decade. Shortly after, Ant announced that it was acquiring the money transfer company MoneyGram to increase its U.S. footprint. By the following January, the deal was dead, thwarted by data security concerns.

More recently, top officials in the Trump administration have discussed whether to place Ant Group on the so-called entity list, which prohibits foreign companies from purchasing American products. Officials from the State Department have suggested that an interagency committee, which also includes officials from the departments of defense, commerce and energy, review Ant for the potential entity listing, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Ant does not talk much anymore about expanding in the United States.

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.


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