Friday, September 25, 2009
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