DNA Tests & Their Uses

DNA is a series of hereditary characteristics, such as hair and eye color, fingerprints, susceptibility to disease, etc. These genes are inherited from both parents, which is why DNA testing is widely used to determine paternity results. If there is doubt about the identity of a child´s father, a DNA test can be performed to confirm or deny any relation. In addition, DNA profiling is used in investigations and has the ability to connect suspects to a crime.

As noted, DNA tests are used for a variety of reasons, including investigations, paternity testing and even ancestry research. DNA testing has been in existence for many years. It´s commonly used to prove whether or not two people are related. As genes are passed down from one family member to another, some DNA changes greatly while others remain virtually the same. This creates an obvious link between families, which can be proven through DNA tests.

Thanks to the modern advancements of technology, at home DNA tests are now available for individuals who do not want to have testing done in a medical office. These at home tests can average in the several hundred dollar price range and provide a quick, simple way to test the cells inside your mouth using a swab, which is similar to that of a Q-tip. Once the samples are collected, you mail them in to the address located on the test manual and, within several weeks, you receive the DNA results.

The most traditional DNA testing is done in a medical facility and is performed by a licensed physician. Using a swab, the doctor rubs the inside of the cheek area and collects a cell sample. This sample is then sent to a medical lab, where the DNA is determined. For paternity testing, the Mother, Father and child should all be present and tested. Within a very short amount of time, and depending on the backlog in the labs, most test results are back within one week. If no results arrive within that time, the patient should call their doctor to inquire about the results and when to expect them.

It´s important to remember that, while DNA is being used more and more to determine ancestry, no two people share the exact same DNA sequence. It may, in fact, be similar, but the only people to have an exact DNA match would be identical twins. A large majority of people have the same hair or eye color, but that does not mean that they share the exact same DNA. While characteristics may be the same among many people, each person´s unique genes will show a variation, great or small, in their DNA.

This article, while believed to be factual in it´s basis, should not be construed as medical or legal advice. The information contained in this article should not be used to determine either. Before proceeding with either, a medical doctor and/or attorney should be consulted. For more information, contact a licensed professional with questions and/or concerns regarding issues surrounding paternity, and/or DNA, testing.