Discreet Specimens For Sibling Testing
Our sibling DNA test kit includes buccal swabs for each person testing. A buccal swab is similar to a long handled cotton swab (think Q-tip), although the top of the swab is not all cotton. A mouth swab is always the best option, when it is available for you to use. The DNA from a mouth swab can even be a better sample than a blood sample, and is the standard method of DNA collection for almost every laboratory.
However. there are times that it is not possible, or practical, to obtain a mouth swab from the person who you want to test with. This is why we also are able to test other items for DNA. Anything other than a mouth swab is referred to as an alternative, or non-standard DNA sample. These would include things like a toothbrush, nail clippings, chewing gum, hair, and many other things as well. There is an additional cost to test other items. The reason for the additional cost is it is necessary to run an additional test to make certain there is sufficient DNA on the alternative specimen. This process is called a viability study. This must be done on every alternative specimen that we test. The laboratory technicians make every effort do everything they can to get the necessary DNA from an item that they receive.
The most important thing you can do to preserve an alternative DNA sample is to place the item into a paper envelope and store it at room temperature before sending it to the lab for testing. We would strongly advise against putting any sample for testing into a plastic bag or “zip-lock” style baggie. When plastic is sealed, it can create an environment where bacteria can form, and this can affect the ability to obtain a useable DNA. Prior to placing the item into a paper envelope, we suggest writing the name of the person on the outside of the envelope, as well as put the current date on the envelope.
For more information on non-standard items for testing, and to see a suggested list of items, you can visit our Alternative DNA Sample page.