DNA Paternity Testing - Lab Test to Determine Fatherhood
How it Works
DNA paternity testing has been a very helpful for many fathers or potential fathers over the years. While once in the realm of science fiction, it is now possible to prove conclusively, one way or the other, if a man is indeed the father of a child. In the past one had to go through a lenghty court process to establish paternity or prove that you were not the father of a child
Early DNA tests were done using the blood types of each parent and that of the child, but were in no way conclusive. That left a huge margin for error or interpretation. DNA paternity testing on the other hand, is almost 100% conclusive in its results. It cannot tell the difference between two twin brothers' particular DNA, but it can definitely show from which family the DNA originated. As long as the two possible parents in question are from different families, DNA paternity testing will work conclusively.
DNA paternity testing works by identifying the DNA of both parents, and then comparing it with the child's DNA.
To collect the DNA, a sample of saliva is swabbed from the mouth, and the DNA extracted using a restriction enzyme that cuts the DNA into identical and easily manageable lengths. The cut DNA pieces are then sorted according to size by the use of a special gel. The DNA is placed at one end of a slab of gelatin and is then drawn through the gel by an electric current. The gel acts like a sieve, allowing small DNA fragments to move more rapidly than larger ones.
After the gel has separated the DNA according to size, a blot is made to trap the DNA in their positions, with small DNA fragments near one end of the blot and large ones near the other end. The blot is now treated with another piece of DNA called a probe that binds to the DNA on the blot. If the patterns are identical, the result is a conclusive match. The technician can then reveal his findings of his DNA paternity test.
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