Watching crime series’ today, you will undoubtedly encounter several instances of DNA testing – not just paternity testing but overall DNA testing. From crime scene evidence to issues of child  support, everyone is familiar on how powerful and at the same time inconclusive it can be.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about DNA diagnostics and paternity testing compiled for you below (with answers, too!).

What Is DNA Diagnostics?

DNA diagnostics is the process and science of identifying the DNA sequence or profile of a particular sample. The actual DNA testing does not identify who it belongs to – it just gives you the unique serial number of sorts, of that particular sample. This means that if one sample matches another, then that is a sure indicator that they belong to the same person.

In terms of identifying who that sample belongs to, you just need to have proof that the sample was indeed someone’s hair or someone’s blood. Then you can tie the DNA sequence to that particular person.

DNA diagnostics is an expensive and yet increasingly efficient means of identifying samples since.

What Is A Paternity Test?

Using DNA profiling, a paternity test simply compares one DNA sample to another. For example, Sample A is compared to Sample B. Of course, the samples should NOT be 100% the same, or else this means that the samples came from the same person. To conclude a paternal relationship to a sample, a DNA set must have 13 alleles in common (signifying that half of the samples chromosomes came from THAT parent).

The only way for a paternity test to produce inconclusive results is if the samples were contaminated or if the father of the child has a twin, since identical twins have identical DNA profiles.

How Do You Do Paternity DNA Testing?

Paternity testing is done by:

  • The most common way is via the PCR or the Polymerase Chain Reaction.
  • The actual DNA strand is isolated from all the surrounding protein (your muscles etc.), usually by heating the sample at high temperatures or by immersing it in a solution then letting it whir in the centrifuge to shake it up.
  • Then the DNA profile is recorded and sequenced, analyzing the pattern that is being displayed by the DNA strand.

Comparison and analysis of the strand reading is then done – whether it is a 99.99% match, a non-match of a partial match, meaning the samples came from relatives of the control sample.

This is a post by Chris Keenan, a blogger who writes on a variety of family, dna, and health topics including genetic dna testing,