Whether you're trying to uncover your past or learn more about genetic health conditions, it seems like everyone has a reason to take a DNA test these days.
Millions of customers have ordered home test kits from services like AncestryDNA and 23andMe, which promise to unlock histories about your health and ancestry hiding in your DNA.
But while the science sounds futuristic, these tests are health products just like any other, and some said the promises they made were hard to swallow. That's why Inside Edition put the most popular kits to the test in a very creative way.
The news program tracked down four sets of triplets of quadruplets, who share identical DNA. If the tests were really accurate, each sister's results should be identical to her sibling's.
The main test subjects were Erica McGraw and her sisters Nicole and Jaclyn. Erica is married to Dr. Phil's son Jay McGraw, so the trio's results were read live on the hit TV show he produces, The Doctors.
But when the triplets got their test results back, they admit they were "shocked" by the differences they revealed.
Erica and her sisters spit in a cup and shipped their DNA samples off to be tested. The other sets of triplets and the quadruplets did the same.
But judging by their results, the science behind these DNA kits doesn't hold up.
Despite sharing the same DNA, there were big differences between each sister's ancestry results from 23andMe. While they were all "99% European," Nicole's results said she was just 11% French/German, while Erica tested at 22% in the same category.
The Maynard triplets, famous for their appearance on American Idol, had similar mistakes on their results from Family Tree DNA.
While Erin's test showed she had 59% British Isles ancestry, her sister Melissa tested at 70% in the same category. Mandy also had 6% Scandinavian DNA according to the test, while her sisters tests showed none.
But the results weren't all bad. A set of triplets from New Jersey had almost identical results from AncestryDNA. The biggest difference was a split on their ancestry from Great Britain, ranging from 45-47%.
Meanwhile, the Pyfrom quadruplets had perfect matching ancestry results from 23andMe.
As The Doctors host Dr. Travis Lane Stork said about the experiment, “We’re not at a place yet where you can just spit in a cup and have every single answer that you’re looking for. I think that’s what people need to be aware of.”
Family Tree DNA says they've improved their ancestry algorithm since the experiment was carried out. 23andMe also offers test with a higher "confidence level" than their basic 50% confidence DNA tests.
I never would have guessed their results could be this different!
[H/T: Inside Edition]