Welcome to DNA Identifiers of Oregon

How Does DNA Testing Work:

DNA is inherited from your parents. Every person has 46 chromosomes in each cell which couple to make 23 pairs. The egg has 23 chromosomes and the sperm has 23 chromosomes which make up 46.


This genetic material is unique combination of maternal (from your mother) DNA and paternal (from your father) DNA. Only identical twins are the same and this is because after the egg is fertilized by the sperm it copies or splits thereby creating a clone of it's self. Sometimes, as the genetic material for an identical twin copies and grows, it can over or under copy creating a very slight difference between the two individuals. These slight variations which can occur in any individual, not just twins, is called a genetic mutation.


This is where DNA paternity testing comes in. DNA testing is painless, easy, and quick, this means even a baby can undergo testing. The cheek swab contains skin cells that have the same DNA material as the white blood cells in blood. DNA testing works in the following way…


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 DNA swabs are used only one per person, and stored in separate paper envelopes 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 paper sample envelopes provided and the sealed using water or glue. (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 possible father are essential, with a sample from the mother being desirable for more accurate results, but not always essential.


Then the swabs are sent to the laboratory where the DNA analysis will occur using state of the art equipment, quality control procedures and results reviewed by a PhD.


The DNA of the child and possible father is analyzed, quantified and the DNA profile is established. If the mother’s participates her DNA profile is also established. Once all the profiles are created they are compared. If she participates, the mother's DNA is identified and is compared to the child. This DNA is eliminated from the equation which leaves the remaining DNA which will be from the child's biological father.


There are typically only two outcomes from this type of comparison. The first is an ‘exclusion’ scenario where the child’s DNA does not match the alleged father. An exclusion eliminates the possibility of this individual being the biological father of the child and the result is a 0% which is a 100% NOT THE FATHER result. The second is an ‘inclusion’ scenario where the child’s DNA does match the male at least one out of every genetic location. Based on the strength of this match, a percentage of positive probability is created, typically as a 99.9% or better positive result.


If the results of the DNA testing are to be used in a court of law, and require a legal standing, a self collected home DNA test is not eligible to be used for any legal purpose. A much more rigorous DNA collection approach that verifies the source of every sample is required. For legally binding tests, the process of obtaining the samples is witnessed and fully documented, including taking photographs of all the parties associated with each sample, checking ID and signing chain of custody documentation. This continuity is maintained with the laboratory environment, and allows test to be notarized as well as an expert witness to provide an opinion in court, if needed, as to the relevance of the test results. Home DNA tests are not notarized as we cannot prove that the people who's names are on the test are in fact true and real. Therefore, a self collected test is simply for your knowledge only.


In many cases, you can be collected on by a professional for a non-legal test and later upgrade to a legal result, if needed. If you do not elect this service, purchase a non-legal and later decide you need a legal, then you will need to purchase a whole new test at that time.

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