DNA Genetics Lab

How DNA Tests Work

DNA paternity tests are based on the fact that DNA is inherited both from the mother and from the father. The DNA samples of the mother, child and the alleged father are tested witih 9 genetic markers using state of the art PCR methodology. If necessary, an additional 9 markers may be tested.

A comparison of the resulting patterns from the genetic markers provides the basis to either undoubtedly exclude or to include a tested man with 99% or greater probability in a paternity case.

There are several major advantages to using DNA testing for determination of paternity as compared to the older method of blood testing. These advantages include:

  1. Either blood or cheek swabs may serve as the sample source. Swabbing the inside of the cheek is a painless, non-invasive method of sample collection preferred by many individuals.
  2. There is no time limit between the time blood is drawn or the cheek swab samples are obtained and the time that a DNA test is conducted.
  3. Redraws usually are not required.
  4. Even newborns can be painlessly tested.
  5. Falsely accused men are conclusively excluded.
  6. Turnaround time is relatively rapid and consistent.


Our paternity testing laboratories have been using Buccal swabs as a DNA specimen collection method since 1993. Currently, of the more than 100,000 parentage testing cases processed at our labs annually, over 85% of the specimens are collected using the Buccal swab.

State of the art DNA technology using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) requires very little sample, allowing the use of such non invasive paternity specimen collection methods such as the Buccal swabs

How does that work?

This non-invasive DNA specimen collection procedure uses four cotton swabs that are similar to ordinary Q-tips to collect epi thelial cells by stroking the lining of the inner cheek. These cells contain the DNA required to perform parentage testing. The paternity testing procedures utilized on DNA extracted from buccal cells are the same procedures as performed on DNA extracted from white blood cells.


The numerous advantages of the buccal swab collection procedure include
    * The buccal swab collection procedure uses no needles and is considered non-invasive.
    * There is little or no biohazardous waste.
    * This procedure permits specimen retention for future testing.
    * There is no age restriction. Specimens may be obtained from newborn infants.
    * There is no rescheduling due to difficult venipunctures.
    * This is an ideal alternative for IV drug abusers and those who have had bone marrow transplants or transfusions.
    * There is no additional cost for buccal swab specimen collection and processing. Buccal swabs are color coded to help ensure accurate chain-of-custody collection

Click Here to Initiate DNA Testing Services.
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DNA Genetics Lab
1840 State Street

Hamden, CT 06517
Tel: 203.624.0492
Fax: 203.306.3277



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