Friday, September 25, 2009

Methods of DNA Paternity Testing

In trying to establish the DNA of a child, different labs use different methods depending on why you need the DNA paternity test done, and if you will be using it as a legal document.

The timing of the DNA paternity test is also another consideration. It is possible to do a DNA paternity test even before the child is born, although there are some medical issues about invasive techniques used.

Method 1

For instance, for a pre-natal DNA paternity test, the doctor will have to conduct an amniocentesis which requires a needle to be inserted into the uterus to collect amniotic fluid. The problem with this kind of testing is possible injury to the fetus, and cramping and bleeding for the pregnant woman. Both of these conditions could be fatal for the unborn child.
Photo:   DNA Diagnostics Center

At any rate, here are some of the other methods used in DNA paternity tests

Method 2

Postnatal DNA paternity tests are a better alternative to the invasive pre-natal paternity test. It can be done immediately after birth using the umbilical cord, hair, a saliva swab, or even a skin or blood sample. There is no risk to either the mother or the baby at this point, and the samples are very viable.
Photo:  Guide2PaternityTests

Method 3

The CVS or Chronic Villus Sampling is another method used in testing paternity through DNA. It is done when the child is still unborn. Although also invasive, it does not involve a needle into the uterus. Rather a tube is inserted into the woman’s vagina and chorionic villi which is a substance that lines the uterus is collected.
Photo:  The Internet Encyclopedia of Science

Method 3 and Method 4

These are the two most commonly preferred methods of testing DNA for paternity issues. It involves taking a sample of the saliva through the mouth with a swab. This method is known as
Polymer Chain Reaction or PCR. The sample is then defragmented through a process known as gel electrophoresis. The fragments of DNA are then analyzed and compared with each other.

The other commonly used method is the Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism or RFLP. The main difference between the PCR method and the RFLP method is the use of enzymes with the latter method. The fragments are then organized according to size before comparing with the other DNA samples.
Photo:   Swiss DNA Bank

Method 5

The home DNA paternity test is usually the cheapest and most convenient. However, it is also the most suspect, mainly because of identification issues. Thus, this method is rarely, if ever, accepted in a legal battle.
Photo:   Impact Lab

DNA Paternity Testing Laboratory Minneapolis

If you are from the Minneapolis area, and need to get a DNA paternity test, finding a laboratory that will do it for you properly is not going to be hard at all. All across the country, more and more labs are setting up because of the intense demand for this kind of service. It is a booming business.

However, not all labs can provide you with quality testing. Thus, there are certain aspects you should look for in a lab before deciding which one to use.

What kind of DNA paternity test do you need?

There are 3 basic kinds of paternity tests: the legally binding, the prenatal, and the home paternity DNA tests. You need to know which test is needed in your particular situation. If it has anything to do with presenting evidence in a court of law, then you need to legally binding DNA paternity test. The home DNA test is not usually accepted by law, and is more for personal use. With the prenatal DNA paternity test, you are really trying to establish who the biological father, for medical or legal purposes prior to the birth of the baby.

Under the laws of Minnesota, proof of paternity must be 99%, while the paternity index has to be 100 to 1.

Is the laboratory accredited?

There are several DNA labs in the Minneapolis area, but you need to find out if they are accredited with the AABB which is the American Association of Blood Banks. Try to find out also what kind of technology they use, and if they have been getting good feedback from clients. You can do this through the convenience of the internet and through AABB or the local city government offices.

You should also inquire if the DNA paternity tests are outsourced or done in-house. This is important because it could affect the result of the test with too much handling involved.

In Minneapolis, there are DNA laboratories that are part of a national chain of laboratories like the DNA Diagnostics Center. This particular lab has been getting a lot of attention because of its landmark case regarding the biological father of the daughter of deceased celebrity, Anna Nicole Smith.

Many national TV shows that need DNA paternity tests done also turn to this lab for its results. Shows like the Maury Show and the Geraldo Show have come to depend on this lab for its results.

Another equally good laboratory in Minneapolis is the DNA Paternity Laboratory. They also do reputable work and have been getting pretty good feedback from its clients.

Is the price tag all that important?

Finally, you will come across DNA labs in Minneapolis that charge very cheap rates. This is more like a hit or miss kind of situation, so unless the lab comes highly recommended by a trusted doctor, lawyer, family member, or friend, it might be better to pay a little extra, and get credible results.
Photo:   Minneapolis

Understanding DNA Paternity Testing ?

Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or as it is now known as by many, DNA is your identity. Unless you are part of identical twins, you cannot have the same DNA as anyone else. This is what makes you unique. You get your DNA equally from your parents, and establishing your DNA will provide you with conclusive evidence of who your parents are.

This is why requests for DNA paternity tests have been increasing rapidly all around the world. Sadly, it is a reflection of how careless we have become about creation and caring for our children. On the other hand, with DNA paternity tests, a parent can find legal means to establish child support, proof of paternity, and means for identification.

At present, DNA paternity testing is the most accurate, legal, and advanced method of detecting proof of who the father or mother of a child is. If the child is under 18, parental consent must be given before any DNA sample is collected.
Photo:   Genetics Home Reference

 Who Are Your Biological Parents?

If there is any question about legal rights and identification of biological parents, the only legal recourse that is accepted by the courts is a DNA paternity test. This test will determine if the child’s DNA matches the maternal alleles of the mother, and the paternal alleles of the father. It is possible to get DNA for sampling from the hair, saliva, skin tissue, nails, or blood. You don’t even need a lot of cell tissue. Just one strand of hair, or a swab in the mouth can already provide a medical technician with enough to work with.

Naturally, it is important to get DNA samples from the 3 parties - the child, mother and father. Furthermore, DNA paternity tests are never 100% sure, but it can be established at 99.5%. The .5% is left out on the perchance that someone else may have DNA that will match the DNA of the child.

This is why many laboratories do more than one kind of DNA testing. Some may even do as many as 10 separate tests, and the biological parents must match the child’s DNA in at least 9 out of the 10 tests.
Photo courtesy of:  healingdream

What If One Biological Parent Cannot Be Located?

In this kind of scenario where one suspected biological parent is unavailable to submit a DNA sample, the DNA paternity test can still be done, but with less accuracy. Furthermore, for legal purposes, the results of this DNA paternity test may not be accepted by a judge.

Understanding Hair DNA Paternity Testing

DNA Paternity test is the process by which a particular individual is identified as the biological father of a child. This testing is used for legal and non-legal purposes to determine whether a person is responsible for a child or not. DNA is located in every part of the human body and it is identical throughout. This DNA is unique for every individual and their structure can be identified from the blood, tissue or even hair follicles. The genetic characteristics are passed from generation to generation through the DNA.

In DNA testing, the DNA of the child is first tested against the mother's DNA. The characteristics that are not present in the mother has to be in the father and so the alleged father's DNA is tested. If the characteristics are found in that person's DNA, then he is the biological father. Sometimes, the DNA of the child can be compared with the biological father without the presence of a mother. These results are 99% accurate and nothing can change the DNA material in an individual. This is one of the reasons why this testing is accurate and is admissible in courts as evidence. In fact, these tests can be done when the baby is in the womb and this is called prenatal testing.

Hair samples can be used to test the DNA, provided the root follicles are present. So, a sample hair must be plucked directly from the scalp with its follicles in order to use it for DNA testing. The sample must be stored properly because it may reveal inaccurate results if the sample is contaminated. Extreme heat or cold, damp environment and improper handling can cause damage to the sample. Thus, one must take a lot of care in preserving the hair sample that has to be used for DNA Paternity Testing.
First photo courtesy of:   easyDNA

What is a DNA Cheek Swab Saliva Test?

 DNA is the genetic material that is present in every human being and based on this material, it is possible to determine our ancestry and parentage. This is because the DNA present in each person is a combination of the parents' genes which was in turn is a combination of their parents' genes. Therefore, DNA testing can reveal the biological parents of an individual accurately.

In order to do a DNA testing, the DNA present in some part of the human body must be collected. If the idea is to determine if an individual is the father of a child, then the DNA of both the father and the child must be obtained. One of the most popular and convenient DNA sample is the one obtained from the mouth with the help of a sterile buccal swab, which is a long swab very similar to Q-Tips.

The buccal swab must be inserted into the mouth, near the inside of the cheek and it must be twisted and turned for about 30 seconds to get an accurate sample. The primary advantages of this method of sample collection is that it is painless, effortless, accurate and less time-consuming. It takes less than a minute to collect the sample and in this time, the epithelial cells present inside the mouth get accumulated on the swab. This is way better than any surgical procedure that use needles to pierce different parts of the body.

Many institutions that provide DNA testing will offer two sterile swabs to get the sample and this sample must be sent back to them as early as possible. When the father's and child's samples are collected, they must be placed in separate envelopes for mailing. Placing them together can contaminate the sample and the final result may not be accurate. So, a lot of care must be taken while handling the collected sample.
Photos:   JenaGen GmbH