Since DNA was first discovered, there has always been a public interest in it. The fascination with DNA only further increased when it was first used to solve a criminal investigation back in the 1980s.
Since then DNA has been a term commonly used in everyday life, it is something that is a huge part of our personal identity and yet something that is still mostly unknown.
Public Interest in DNA increased, even more, when companies started to produce home DNA kits that were commercially available. Suddenly, DNA was not so much a serious thing, and more so a fun tool that can be used to find out more about our own family history.
Then DNA tests that could be used to improve our lifestyle by looking at our health and wellbeing were produced, and we haven’t looked back since.
One company that was ground-breaking in DNA research that is often overlooked, is International Biosciences. Despite not drawing as much public interest as some other companies, International Biosciences is still an excellent option if you are looking to complete a DNA test.
With that in mind, today we’ll be looking at International Biosciences and the different DNA tests that they currently offer.
What is International Biosciences?
So before we get into how International Biosciences DNA testing process works, let’s take a look at the company’s history. This company is one of the early DNA testing companies that have been forgotten in the flurry of new companies that have entered the market.
While companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe are often referred to as the ground-breaking companies that brought DNA testing into the household, International Biosciences started offering this many years earlier.
The company was first founded in 2005, and they were one of the first companies to manufacture and sell genetic testing services to the public. DNA testing has been known for years, but it is only down to companies that International Biosciences that it has become as commonly spoken about as it is now.
International Biosciences offer a variety of different genetic testing services, however, they are most famous for their paternity testing. Back in the days before DNA tests were regularly available to members of the public, International Biosciences became the first company to offer over-the-counter paternity tests.
In 2009, this addition to the market was faced with a lot of skepticism, however, no one could have known then how far at-home genetic testing would come in the years that followed. During the time that they introduced paternity testing to the public, International Biosciences only had offices in the United Kingdom, however, they have grown significantly since then.
Since their humble beginnings in a small office in the UK, International Biosciences has continued to grow and grow into the massive global company that they are today. Despite not being as much a household name as some of its competitors, International Biosciences is a massive company.
They offer a huge range of different tests that target a variety of different areas on the market, from dog DNA kits through to prenatal and drug testing. They are an incredibly diverse company with a wealth of knowledge to support all of the different tests that they offer.
While International Biosciences offer a huge range of products, the majority of their DNA tests are of the more serious kind. Although they offer some tests on dogs and cats, all of their tests have a more weighty background than some of their competitors.
It is likely because of this that companies like AncestryDNA who offer a commercial aspect to their kits have become more of a household name than International Biosciences.
That being said, International Biosciences is still one of the most advanced DNA testing companies in the world, so let’s take a look at how their testing process works.
How does it work?
As we have established, International Biosciences has one of the most diverse product bases of all the companies that offer DNA testing. They are a company that has not chosen one specific niche within the DNA market, instead choosing to cover all bases in this sector.
From dog DNA testing through to paternity and grandparents tests, their product list is seemingly endless, but for the sake of this review, we’re going to focus on their most popular products.
Despite their vast range of products, the tests produced by International Biosciences operate incredibly similar to other DNA testing companies.
While some of the tests might have minor differences depending on which one you have purchased, the majority of tests produced by International Biosciences will require you to take a swab of the inside of your mouth. So all you have to do is purchase the test that you want to complete through International Biosciences, and wait for your testing kit to arrive.
Once it arrives, you will find everything that you need to complete the test within the package, along with a guide full of detailed instructions of exactly what you need to do. Some will require you to swab the inside of your mouth for a set amount of time, others will require you to spit in a test tube.
Once you have completed the test, bag it up, and send it in the prepaid envelope back to the International Biosciences Lab. You will receive a notification once the lab receives your result, and they will begin immediately working on generating your results.
The length of time that your results will take will depend on the specific test that you bought. However, the majority of DNA tests take on average between 4-8 weeks for the results to be generated and sent back to you.
You will be notified when your results are ready and will be granted access to a PDF document that contains your results. The length and depth of your results will differ depending on the test that you buy.
Now that we’ve established exactly how International Biosciences DNA testing works, let’s take a deeper look at the products they offer and why they might be the perfect match for you.
Why choose International Biosciences?
You might find yourself asking, ‘Why should I choose International Biosciences?’, and we’re going to answer that question for you. The main reason that a lot of people are drawn to International Biosciences is because of the range of products they have on offer.
If you want a company that has a lot of options, there’s no question that International Biosciences is likely the best choice for you. However, with a product range as diverse as theirs, we can’t review every single product.
Due to this, we’re going to take a look at two of their most popular areas for genetic research: ancestry, and health and wellbeing tests.
First, let’s take a look at their ancestry testing. Before we go specifically into their ancestry tests, it is worth noting that these are in addition to the vast amount of family-relationship tests that the company offers.
If you want to find out information about a specific family member who is within 2 generations of you (ie. children, parents, or grandparents) you should choose a family-relationship test. Whereas if you want to find out more information about your distant family history, an ancestry test would be more appropriate.
International Biosciences offer 2 different ancestry tests, one which looks at your GPS origins, another which looks at your ancestral origins. The GPS Origins DNA test takes a deep dive into your family history to trace your ancestors. This test compares your DNA sample against the company’s database which has over 800,000 DNA markers stored on it.
Their vast database allows the company to trace your ancestry not just down to countries but also down to specific regions to give you incredibly detailed information about your history.
Your genetic signature is compared against 10,000 other signatures which have been taken from over 500 different populations to pinpoint where your genetic ancestry started. Your results will include an ethnicity estimate as well as a set of maps depicting the migration roots of your ancestors to help you understand where you came from.
The second ancestral test that International Biosciences offer is the Ancestral Origins DNA test. This test is fairly similar to their other test, but it offers a heavier focus on the use of maps to prove your genetic roots. This test uses population matches, native region matches, and strength indicators to visually show you where your ancestors most likely originated in.
It also shows the paths that your ancestors probably followed to get from their origin places to where you are today. This test differs from their other DNA test as it has a variety of optional add ons, including a phone consultation if you want to better understand your results.
So now that we’ve covered ancestry tests, let’s take a look at the health and wellbeing tests that International Biosciences offer. In comparison to some other companies that have focused on health and wellbeing, the options that International Biosciences have on offer in this category are quite slim.
This might be because International Biosciences have chosen to focus on other areas in DNA testing, such as familial tests (which most companies do not offer). Most companies offer a combined health and wellbeing test, however, International Biosciences have chosen to go down the divided route, offering a skincare DNA test and a diet/weight test.
First, let’s take a look at the skincare DNA test. This might seem like a strange test to offer, but the skin is the body’s biggest organ and one of the most important. However, it is clear that this test is more targeted to those who care about surface care of their skin rather than long-term care.
This test looks at a variety of different factors that could affect your skin’s health and appearance, from wrinkles to sun protection to pigmentation. This test looks at all these different categories to see if our DNA makes us predisposed to premature aging and a variety of other conditions. Based on your results you can then alter your routine to better protect your skin for the future.
Additionally, International Biosciences offer their DNA Diet and Healthy Weight test. While the Skincare test looks at how you can help the exterior of your body, this test looks at how we can better the health of what goes on inside of our bodies. This test looks at how certain genes interact and process food, minerals, and a variety of other things that we consume.
It gives insight into how our genetics can affect our relationships with different foods, and how to tailor our diets so that they provide optimal support for our health and wellbeing. If you choose to complete this test, you will receive an extremely detailed guide that can be used to enhance your lifestyle through the food that you consume.
It is completely tailored to you and your body, and guaranteed to produce results should you follow the recommendations given. This test not only looks at your body’s relationship with food but also your body’s relationship with exercise to ensure that your 75+ page report will provide you with results that make the test worth the money.
But despite their excellent range of products, no test is 100% perfect, so let’s take a quick look at why some people have chosen different options for International Biosciences.
Issues with International Biosciences
No DNA test is 100% perfect, so let’s have a quick look at why some people have chosen to go with alternative companies to International Biosciences.
One major issue that some people find with International Biosciences has nothing to do with the tests that they produce, but everything to do with the website that they sell their products through. The website that International Biosciences use is dated, to say the least.
It is clear that the company has chosen to focus on their DNA research rather than their online appearance, however, there is potential that this could put people off buying.
The website is difficult to navigate and their wealth of products can be intimidating so it is understandable that this could be off-putting for some people. Especially in an age where a company’s website can be a make or break factor in terms of success.
Another issue that some people have found with International Biosciences is the format in which you receive your results. While the majority of companies have chosen to use an account system to allow people to log in to their website and access their results, International Biosciences has not done this.
Whether this is out of choice or due to their poor website is unclear, but the company gives customers their results in a PDF format. A few years ago this would not be a strange thing to do, however, it now is.
The majority of DNA testing companies are constantly completing genetic research which allows them to constantly update their findings and results. As they complete this research, most companies offer existing customers updates on their results, and this usually happens as many as 3 or 4 times a year.
By using a PDF format, International Biosciences cannot easily update the results that they have produced every time that their knowledge of DNA improves. Whether International Biosciences have chosen to do this so that customers will buy new tests in the future to get updated results, or it is because their system is outdated is unclear.
Either way, if you complete a DNA test with International Biosciences you will not get updated results over time like you would with a lot of other companies. This is incredibly disappointing, especially when you consider how pricey some of the tests by International Biosciences are.
Alternatives to International Biosciences
If the limitations of International Biosciences are enough to put you off purchasing one of their tests, there is no need to worry because there are lots of other companies which offer tests very similar to those offered by this company.
If you wanted to complete research into your ancestry and your family history, your main alternatives to International Biosciences would be AncestryDNA and MyHeritage. Both of these companies are incredibly similar to one another and they are excellent options if you also want to research your family tree as they offer this feature alongside DNA Testing.
Alternatively, if you want to complete research into your health and wellbeing, there is one clear company at the forefront of this research, 23andMe.
However, there are also a variety of other companies that produce a lot more detail in their results, including Orig3n, which are an excellent option if you want to use your results to make real and meaningful changes to your lifestyle.
That being said, International Biosciences is still one of the leading companies in both of these areas and they should not be overlooked.
In short, International Biosciences was one of the first DNA testing companies to offer testing commercially and were ground-breaking in the introduction of DNA testing to the general public.
They offer a huge variety of tests and have an option for everyone so they should definitely be considered if you want to complete a DNA test to find out more about yourself through your genetics.