, also known as DNA testing
, allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child's parentage (genetic mother and father) or in general a person's ancestry or biological relationship between people. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing
in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders. Genetic testing
identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The variety of genetic tests has expanded throughout the years. In the past, the main genetic tests searched for abnormal chromosome numbers and mutations that lead to rare, inherited disorders. Today, tests involve analyzing multiple genes to determine the risk of developing certain more common diseases such as heart disease and cancer. The results of a genetic test
can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Several hundred genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed.