DNA is considered to be the blueprint of life, and a DNA test can help determine biological relationships by using paternity other types of DNA testing. Collecting DNA for a paternity test is much less invasive than it used to be. Instead of having to draw blood, cheek (buccal) swabs are used in DNA testing. You just swab the inside all participants’ cheeks and then send the samples in to the lab.
Can “regular” cotton swabs be used for a paternity test?
One of the most common questions addressed to the IDENTIGENE Client Support Team is: Why can’t people just use cotton swabs and send those in instead of using the cheek swabs included in a DNA test collection kit?
The DNA testing swabs are like cotton swabs, but with some very important modifications. The tips are made from a special Dacron polyester material that is optimal for DNA collection and extraction of the DNA in the laboratory. This material effectively captures the cells needed for paternity testing and holds on to them.
Although DNA for paternity testing can (in theory) be collected on regular cotton swabs, the process for extraction of the DNA is much more difficult and less reliable than extraction from the special Dacron swabs supplied in the DNA collection kits. Because of this, samples submitted on regular cotton swabs are considered ‘special specimens’and the cost for testing is higher due to the extra work involved.
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