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The Science Behind DNA Parentage Detection

In today’s era, you can detect complex aspects like parentage with the help of a simple mouth swab. This unique testing approach is a testament to the advancement in medical science.

Every year, Aussies carry around 3,000 DNA tests to confirm their biological relationship with a child. For this purpose, you can avail of apt medical tests at the lab or order DIY paternity kits.

Regardless of your choice and intention behind DNA testing, it is crucial to understand the science behind these evaluations. Consequently, you will have better insights into the technique that determines biological relations.

This article aims to lay down the vital points of this critical parentage assessment.

A Quick Glance at DNA Testing

Today, it is possible for you to confirm your fatherhood through an in-depth analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

In simple words, DNA is the genetic material in your body. This substance is the information molecule that you inherit from your biological parents.

As a father, you can send samples of DNA to detect whether a child is your biological offspring. Notably, there are two ways to undergo this medical evaluation:

  • Testing in a medical setting (requires legal permissions)
  • At-home DNApaternity test kits (for people who do not aim to pursue the legal procedure)

The process of both assessments varies from the point of sample collection. So, you decide to choose a more viable option.

Types of Tests to Detect Biological Fatherhood

The following two methods are well-known in detecting your biological relationship with a child:

  • Blood evaluation: In this testing, you and the child must submit blood samples to the lab. The experts perform DNA sequencing and in-depth analysis.
  • Mouth swabs: In this method, you need to use a kit to take buccal cell samples by inserting a cotton swab inside the mouth. You can send the applicators to the laboratory for further assessment.

In the second method, established laboratories follow a different type of DNA sequencing process. However, the main aim of both types is to detect genetic matches between you and the child.

DNA sequencing determines the sequence of bases or nucleotides in the information molecule. Here are some of the standard methods in this genomic assessment:

  • Polymerase-based DNA sequencing
  • Single-molecule DNA sequencing
  • Sanger DNA sequencing
  • Nanopore DNA sequencing
  • Massively parallel DNA sequencing

In addition to detecting your biological relationship with a child after birth, you can use such tests before the baby is born.

Here are the three methods to verify your genetic connection during pregnancy:

  • Amniocentesis: The lab expert inserts a needle inside the mother’s abdomen to draw out amniotic fluid
  • NIPP: This method aims at comparing foetal DNA inside the woman’s blood with the potential father’s cheek cell sample
  • CVS: In this process, the lab technician extracts tissue from the woman’s cervix for comparison

Overall, testing for fatherhood using at-home DNA kits is the most straightforward option.

In a Nutshell

You can have many reasons to verify the biological relationship with a child. Despite the end goal, it is crucial to understand the methodology behind DNA testing.

Testing in a laboratory setting can produce more accurate results if you are ready for legal procedures. On the contrary, you can also opt for the at-home kits for confirmation purposes. However, ensure that you buy such kits from reputed sellers or distributors.

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