Items that may be used for DNA testing

Posted on February 9, 2009 @ 2:22 am
by PTC Labs

Most laboratories prefer buccal swab for DNA testing. A cotton swab that looks like a one sided Q-tip is rubbed in the mouth on the inside of the cheek. Loose cells are collected on the swab and they provide the DNA for a paternity test.

It is also possible to perform a paternity test using blood. There is generally no reason to use a blood sample. Since blood is a biohazard it can transmit many diseases. Buccal swabs pose very minimal biohazard risk.

A common myth is that taking a paternity test from blood paternity test is better than taking a swab paternity test. Scientifically it is the same test. It doesnt in both samples.

Some people may not want to have a buccal swab or blood collection. They may want to perform a DNA test using anonymous samples. There are many reasons for performing an anonymous paternity test. Often the subject is very controversial and the parent does not want the child to know that they are being tested.

Often with an anonymous test it is not possible to obtain a buccal swab. A discarded or household item that has DNA from the individual in question may be used. An anonymous paternity test can not be used for legal issues because it can not name an individual. It may state for example:

The donor of the DNA from the straw is excluded as the father of the donor of the DNA on the pacifier.

One situation is that the mother has a child that her husband believes is his biological child. She does not want to tell the husband and causes a major problem for the family unless the child is not his. She may send a DNA sample from her and her child and a toothbrush from the alleged father. If he is the father, then her worries are over. There is no need to disrupt the family with a legal test. If he is not the father, then she has to deal with it, but was able to find out without disrupting her family.

Many items can be used for DNA testing. Items that usually give a profile are, tooth brushes, cigarette butts, chewing gum, envelope flaps that have been licked (not self sealing), soda straws, electric razor clippings, and pacifiers.

It is very important that the item provided was only used by the person that is to be tested. If the item has been used by a second person, then it is likely to cause a problem. If an item has been used by more than one person it may cause an incorrect paternity test result. At the very least, it will not be able to be used for the DNA test.

Anonymous DNA tests are requested by adult children, mothers and fathers. Anonymous tests can be very helpful. A legal or even home DNA test may cause major conflict within a family. The client can address their doubts and concerns without disrupting the life of the entire family.

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