Learning Center – DNA Paternity Testing

January 11, 2016

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About DNA Paternity Testing

Resemblances between a parent and child can sometimes be hard to see. When families wish to discover the true biological relationship between an alleged father and child, the most reliable method is through genetic testing. Undergoing a paternity test provides definitive genetic proof of whether a male is the true biological father of a child. By simply brushing the inside cheeks of each individual with a buccal swab, samples can be tested and compared in order to determine conclusively whether an alleged father is in fact the true biological father.

Humans are composed of trillions of cells. Those cells contain all of our genetic information in the form of DNA. Hence why when a seemingly small swab sample is sent to the lab for testing, scientists are able to create a DNA profile for that individual. DNA – like a fingerprint – is what makes us all unique. As a child obtains half of their genetic information from their biological mother, and the other half from their biological father, the “genetic blueprint” of an alleged father can be analyzed and compared to the genetic profile of a child to determine paternity.

But how exactly is such an amount of genetic information condensed and tested?

Specific sections of the individual’s DNA are amplified by a process known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). When amplified, these particular sections of DNA create a type of pattern for an individual. By viewing and comparing the pattern of an alleged father with that of a child, the picture becomes clear as to whether the individual is the true biological father. Should the child have half of his or her DNA pattern match that of the alleged father, there is a genetic match. If the patterns however do not overlap, then the individual is not the biological father.

Aside from being able to visually see the frequency of the patterns, the results of a DNA paternity test are given in numeric form, and calculated to determine the probability of paternity. Lab results for paternity testing are guaranteed to be 100% accurate for paternity exclusions (not the father of the child), and over 99.9% for paternity inclusions.

To learn more about DNA Paternity Testing, click here.
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