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Alternative Samples 2018-08-23T17:28:15+00:00

Alternative/Non-Standard DNA samples

Bio-Gene DNA’s sample testing process allows you to put your mind at ease without anyone else knowing. Discreet DNA testing involves collecting non-buccal swab DNA samples from the people in question and sending them into our lab for comparison.

If you choose to test someone without their knowledge, there are some samples that provide a better opportunity for obtaining a usable genetic profile than others.  Much of our testing is done using samples such as hair, fingernail clippings, ear wax swabs, a toothbrush, cigarette butts, and chewing gum. We can’t guarantee that DNA will be found on the sample that you provide to us, but if it does contain enough DNA to obtain a profile, we can compare it to another DNA profile to determine paternity, maternity, sibling, grandparent, and avuncular relationships.

Note: The success rate for alternative DNA samples is not as high as with a standard mouth swabs. The success rate depends on the quality of the DNA material.

The average success rate of different DNA samples is listed below.

DNA Sample Comments Success Rate
Buccal/cotton swab Swabbing of cheek inside of the mouth 99.99%
Whole blood Medical blood tube drawn in Vacutainer 99.99%
Blood stains Band-aids, tampons, bloody tissues 90%
Semen Swab from condom, undergarments, clothing, etc. 90%
Dried umbilical cord Enclosed in a paper container 90%
Used tissue Nasal mucus/discharge 80%
Hair At least 5-7 strands with roots 80%
Toothbrush Air-dry the toothbrush for 30 minutes 80%
Dental floss Do not touch with fingers 75%
Nail clippings New cut stored in paper envelope 75%
Ear wax Cotton swab or “Q-tip” 65%
Chewing gum Sugar-free is preferable, stored in foil gum wrapper 50%
Cigarette butts 2 to 4 butts in paper envelope 50%
Clothing Hats, baseball caps, underwear, bandana 45%
Razors Place in paper envelope 40%

Common questions about alternative samples

As long as the lab technicians are able to obtain a DNA profile from the sample, the results as just as accurate as a mouth swab. Using a higher number of genetic markers to test each person allows us to issue testing results that are 100% accurate based on the profiles generated.
Yes, you are protected by our strict privacy policy. No one may access your DNA test information without your written consent.
In most cases it takes no extra time to process results using non-standard, or alternative, DNA samples. In cases where extra time is needed due to the quality of the sample, results generally do no exceed an additional 24-48 hours of processing time.
No. A legal test requires written consent from all parties (or legal guardians), photo identification, and a third party who performs the DNA collection. Alternative samples are provided for discreet testing and therefore cannot be used in court.
Non standard samples do not always guarantee that a DNA Profile will be obtained as we have no way to determine the quality of the sample prior to receiving it.

However, it is not just the type of sample that is important but also other variables such as :

1. Poor storage conditions (e.g. damp environment, extreme heat or cold etc)
2. Poor sample handling (possible contamination with other DNA or dirt)
3. Not enough DNA present (e.g. heavily used toothbrush vs used once only)

In all cases the laboratory technicians are trained to make every effort, and multiple attempts, at obtaining a usable genetic profile with every DNA sample that is received.

When should you use an alternative sample for DNA testing?

  • When the alleged father is unavailable testing but you have an item that you believes contains his DNA.
  • You’ve already tried talking to the person, letting them know the benefits of finding the truth and having a peace of mind, but they won’t budge. This is an issue we hear all the time and we sympathize!
  • You have a DNA sample from deceased or missing tested party.
  • When the child in question is older, and you don’t want them to know that their paternity is in question.
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