Basic Genetic Testing

Also known as: genetic testing, DNA testing, genetic blood test.

What is basic genetic testing?

Basic genetic testing is a medical screening or diagnostic test that examines an individual's genes and chromosomes. It can be performed for a variety of reasons, including screening newborns for their risk of future disease, screening parents or expecting parents for their risk of passing along diseases, helping to diagnose disease in individuals and even in helping to solve crimes.

What happens during the test?

Basic genetic testing is typically performed with a blood sample, which requires the extraction of blood from the body. This can range from a simple finger poke and blood collection to collecting blood using a needle and a syringe. The amount of blood and the location from which the blood is drawn can vary widely. After it’s collected, the blood is taken to a laboratory for testing and analysis. In some cases, other bodily fluid or tissue are used.

Is any special preparation needed?

In most cases, no special preparation is needed for basic genetic testing.

What are the risk factors?

Infection, bleeding, bruising and pain are the primary risks of the blood draw for basic genetic testing.

Reviewed by: Yadira L Martinez-Fernandez, MD

This page was last updated on: November 21, 2019 10:21 AM

What can genetic testing reveal for family planning?

Dr. Parul Jayakar describes what genetic testing can reveal to a family planning to have a baby.

Weekly Support Programs

Brain Wellness: Kids Yoga

This program is provided by a certified yoga instructor. It offers children and teens the following benefits: managing stress through breathing, self-awareness, healthy movement and meditation. Yoga also promotes strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Learn more.

Learn more about

Genetic Diseases

Genetic diseases are conditions that occur due to a mutation in a gene in the body’s cells. Learn more


Children with phenylketonuria do not produce an enzyme that helps o breaks down the amino acid phenylalanine. Buildup of phenylalanine can lead to symptoms such as delayed physical and intellectual development. Learn more