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