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Using A Home DNA Test Kit

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 11:19 AM
Friday, April 9, 2010

By Peter Vine

A home DNA test kit is exclusively used only at the sampling stage of a home based DNA paternity test. The key components in the kit is usually a set cotton swabs, and some DNA sample envelopes. These two components allow the obtaining of the DNA material which will ultimately be used to determine the biological relationship of a child to the possible parents.

Using a home DNA test kit is very straightforward and requires so little expertise, that a child could preform the collection. All that is required, is the removal of some cheek cells from the inside of the mouth by rubbing the cotton swabs on the inside of the mouth. A few gentle rubs (about 30 seconds) of the cotton swab on the inside of both cheeks should result in sufficient material being recovered to allow a full DNA paternity test to be carried out. It is important that a single DNA kit is used only for one person, to ensure there can be no possibility of a mix-up between samples. This will ensure the reliability of the final result.

Once the samples have been taken they should be placed in the sample envelopes provided and the envelopes sealed (do not lick the envelopes to seal them). This will ensure preservation of the cellular material present on the swab heads, and prevent any environmental contamination of the source cells. In general the identity of the biological mother of the child is rarely questioned, and most applications of this technology are in confirming the identity of the biological father. If this is the case, a sample from the child and the putative father are essential, with a sample from the mother being desirable but not essential.

Samples are generally mailed back (typically with a FedEx Overnight) to the testing company who will carry out a full DNA analysis, generally resulting in a report within a few days. The report should provide an answer the question as to the biological relationship of the putative father to the child.

If the results of the DNA testing are to be used in a court of law, and require a legal standing, a home DNA test is not admissible. A much more rigorous approach in verifying the source of every sample is required. The process of obtaining the samples is witnessed and fully documented, including taking photographs of all the parties associated with each sample. This continuity is maintained with the laboratory environment, and allows an expert witness to provide an opinion in court, as to the relevance of the test results.

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4 Responses to “Using A Home DNA Test Kit”

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