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When sending samples to our Laboratories via FedEx, DHL, UPS, or any carrier that provides a tracking number, we highly recommend that you record the tracking number prior to releasing the package to the shipper. If the samples do not arrive at the laboratory by the expected date and time, the package can easily be tracked to determine where the package is as well as the new expected delivery time.
The majority of sample swaps occur when all of the sample envelopes are filled out prior to the actual collection. Although this may seem to speed up the collection process, it greatly increases the chance that samples will be placed into the incorrect envelopes. In order to prevent samples from being mixed up, the recommended collection procedure is to fill out one envelope and then immediately collect a sample from that individual. Do not fill in any information on subsequent envelopes until the first collection is complete and the envelope is sealed.
After collection, buccal swab samples need be stored and shipped in a manner that allows them to adequately dry. If the swabs retain moisture, bacteria can grow and degrade the DNA, rendering the swab unsuitable for DNA analysis. In order to ensure that buccal swabs are able to dry, it is important that you follow two simple rules. First, do NOT place the buccal swabs back into the swab wrappers. The inside of the wrappers are coated with a thin waxy-like film that does not allow the swabs access to air, and thus they cannot dry. Second, place the buccal swabs into the paper sample envelope provided with the DNA Collection Kit, not a plastic bag. The swabs will be able to dry inside of a paper envelope, but will not be able to dry inside of a plastic bag.
When an error is made on a Chain of Custody (COC) or any other document that you will be sending to the laboratory, completely blacking out the incorrect information or using white out is not recommended. If the case is to be used for a legal/court admissible purpose such as child support or custody, having portion(s) of the COC masked by white out or blacked out could cause the case to be inadmissible in court. The proper way to make a correction on documents that you are sending to the laboratory is by drawing a single line through the error, documenting the correct information next to the error, and adding your initials and date adjacent to correct information.
While a paternity test can be conducted without the mother, it is always recommended that the mother be included in the test. Including the mother not only acts as a quality control step to ensure the proper child has been sampled, but it also strengthens the genetic evidence of the test. Not including the mother in the test can cut each individual paternity index value in half and increases the likelihood that the results will be inconclusive.
Approximately 5% of samples (1 in every 20) needs to be re-extracted due to an insufficient amount of DNA on a buccal swab. A low amount of DNA on a buccal swab is generally the result of a short sample collection time. To ensure that sufficient DNA will be collected, we recommend a collection time of 30 seconds for each swab. Re-extracting samples due to low DNA adds considerable effort and time and can result in a reporting delay of test results. By swabbing for at least 20 seconds and preferably 30, you can ensure the collection of enough DNA on the swab so that we do not have to re-run your samples and that you will receive your results without delay.
When a paternity index is calculated, one of the factors used in the computation is the allele frequency for the tested individual’s race. An allele frequency indicates how often a particular allele is present in a given population and can vary between races. For example, if the alleged father’s paternal allele (the allele in the father which matches the child) at the marker D8S1179 is a 16, and the alleged father is African American, then we would need to determine how often in the African American population the allele 16 occurs. For African Americans, the allele frequency is 4%, meaning 4% of the African American population has an allele 16 at the genetic marker D8S1179. Caucasian’s have an allele frequency of 1%, meaning 1% of the Caucasian population has a 16 allele at D8S1179. Hispanic’s have an allele frequency of 2%, meaning 2% of the Hispanic population has a 16 allele at D8S1179. It is important to document the race of the individuals tested because the race determines which allele frequency we will use in our statistical calculations of the paternity index.
Did you know that if you reside in different cities or states that you can still perform their paternity test? We have over one thousand clinics where we can collect DNA. If the possible father resides in a different city or state from the mother and child, we can find a collection location near each party. We can then set up an appointment for each person the closest facility. They will perform the sample collection for you and send the samples to the laboratory by overnight courier. We will then match up the samples from each location to complete the test for you. If you have any questions regarding a situation in which you reside in different cities or states, please give us a call 888.364.4339.
DNA Test results are released in 2 batches, one in the morning and one in afternoon. If you do not receive your results in the morning, you should receive it in the afternoon. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact your DNA Case Manager.
We provide 3 or more buccal swabs per person in each DNA collection kit to ensure that you never need to re-collect samples for a case. Per AABB standards, all exclusions are required to be run in duplicate, this means we need to analyze 2 swabs per person. There have been instances where some of the swabs do not contain enough DNA (i.e. the collector did not swab the individual for 30 seconds) and therefore we need to go to a third or fourth swab, in order to obtain enough DNA. If only 2 swabs are submitted we may not have enough swabs to complete the case, and it will be necessary for you to re-collect. Analyzing new samples requires additional lab fees, so save time and money by always collecting 3 or more swabs per person.