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Reasons For DNA Testing

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:13 PM
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

By Kevin Camilleri

DNA testing is becoming more and more popular as a way of establishing family relationships and catching criminals. But why is DNA testing specifically preferred over blood testing and other methods of detecting parentage and what are the most significant reasons for its ongoing usage in both legal and medical circles?

1. DNA is unique to the individual concerned

Our DNA is completely distinct from that of anyone else anywhere on the planet (except in the case of identical twins). It’s like our own individual serial number – while we may share certain digits with others, we are completely unique in the make-up of our DNA.

That means is that DNA testing is an important tool to identify genetic relationships, because when we share a number of DNA matches with someone who is alleged to be a relative, it is usually very safe to assume that a genetic link exists. Additionally, this also helps support DNA testing for legal purposes, in which it is possible to use DNA as a strong measure to support alleged guilt in serious crimes such as murders and sexual offences.

2. DNA testing is easy to sample

DNA samples can be obtained really easily, which is ideal for testing small children. An oral swab of skin cells (called buccal cells) or a fingernail clippings can be sufficient to provide the DNA necessary for a paternity test, with a view to establishing a biological relationship between the alleged father and the child. Rather than having to test blood types or other forms of identifying family relations, DNA samples are quick and easy to take from any age group and pose no threat to the party donating the sample.

3. Highly-detailed and easy comparison

Because of the intricate nature of DNA, it is possible to use matching genetic data as a highly conclusive way of establishing genetic heritage.

4. Allows DNA testing of more distant relatives for determining paternity

DNA testing, most frequently used in instances of paternity questions.  Testing can be conducted without the need for a DNA sample from the father. This means that the father need not necessarily contribute a sample of DNA.  This is beneficial where he is unavailable or unwilling to cooperate. By taking the DNA of close family members related to the possible father it can be possible through DNA testing to determine whether a relationship does in fact exist.  Possible Grandparents, or Aunts or Uncles are good sources of DNA samples.

5. DNA testing is cost-effective and fast

DNA testing is gradually becoming more accessible to people all over the world. As competition increases and the technology improves, the price of DNA tests have come down drastically over the years. Added to this is the fact that it is quick and relatively stress-free to collect the DNA samples and send them to the laboratory, and results can be obtained relatively fast in as little as 48 hours.  As we have seen there are a number of advantages of DNA tests such as Paternity testing which have resulted in an increase in the demand for this type of testing all over the world.

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One Response to “Reasons For DNA Testing”

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