In the light of DNA paternity testing in the news, I thought it might also be insightful to read more about the tests in a more detailed manner. Generally speaking, paternity assumptions can be traced back by several tests. The simplest one is through blood group analysis. However, the test cannot reveal exact results and may still be doubtful. In paternity testing, the best choice is through DNA analysis for specific results.
Although humans share 99.9% DNA sequence similarities, there is actually enough differences to differentiate each individuals except in the case of identical twins (monozygot). The closer the relationship, there is more DNA similarities and therefore people with no familial relationship will not show a similar DNA sequence.
The specimen sampling is quite simple, non invasive, and cheap by swabbing the buccal cells (the inner side of the cheek). The swab itself resembles a long cotton bud. The buccal cells collected and taken to the laboratory for further analysis. For paternity sampling, the test will need samples from the father and child to be compared. If it is not possible for a buccal swab, then other tissue sample is permitted such as blood, saliva, semen, or other bodily fluid collected from personal items (razors or tooth brush).
DNA analysis can be performed at certain laboratories equipped with analytical instruments for DNA. However, the internet also offers many international online testing services. Simply contact the provider and they will send you a kit to complete and send the samples back to them afterwards.
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