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DNA Testing - Myths and Facts
Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:59:52 EST
A Google search of 'DNA testing' has 16.5 million results – so how do you separate the marketing hype from the reality? Have you seen these claims?
- 'Leading laboratory' – Is an unsubstantiated claim as there is no governing body to access which laboratory is leading and who is not.
- 'Cutting edge' – Every laboratory uses the same equipment as there is only one supplier ,so all laboratories are using the same equipment and are therefore all cutting edge
- 'Robotics' – Just means that the extraction of the DNA is automated. Not of any benefit and is expensive and prone to breakdown. You don't need robotics to process DNA samples.
- 'Tested 200,000 samples' – Most of these large processing factories test all sorts of samples such as cat, dog, horse, bird DNA and even dog poo! These companies have not tested hundreds of thousands of human paternity cases.
- 'uses a NATA laboratory' – Means that they are just an office front and they send their samples to a DNA processing factory which charges the cheapest processing fee. Some of these may be overseas and for non-legal cases may be unaccredited and not creditable.
- 'Greater accuracy with testing more markers' – Testing more markers than 16 is not necessary as the International standard testing used by major Forensic Laboratories and cited in the scientific literature is 16 markers. Why do companies make you pay for extra and unnecessary testing?
- 'DNA samples from toothbrushes or cigarettes' – Sadly CSI does not show the reality of DNA testing. Using such samples may give an inaccurate result as the sample could be contaminated with another person's DNA. Remember the sample we test is just a few cells and you need to be sure those cells can from the right person. Toothpaste also contains bleach which interferes with the DNA sample.
- Fetal DNA testing sounds great as collecting the baby's sample does not place your baby at risk – Your Fetal Medicine Specialist or obstetrician will recommend a CVS or amniocentesis for the baby's DNA sample as they are the 'gold standard'. Ask your medical specialist if they recommend free-fetal DNA testing before you proceed with a DNA company offering this test.
- 'DNA specialists' – What does that mean? Does the persons at your DNA company have a science degree and specialization in DNA testing or are they an office worker? Are they creditable?
Facts to consider
- Paternity testing can have life changing results. You should use a DNA specialist laboratory not a broker who subcontracts to a processing laboratory.
- Your testing laboratory needs a NATA/ ISO 17025 accreditation.
- Your DNA company should contain DNA Paternity specialist scientists- make sure you can discuss your case with a DNA specialist with medical or scientific qualifications.
- You should be confident that your DNA company is reputable.
To speak to a scientist at a NATA/ISO 17025 accredited laboratory contact DNA QLD. DNA QLD is a Brisbane laboratory which is owned and operated by a Medical Specialist and an Allied Health specialist. DNA QLD is a specialist DNA company testing paternity and immigration family reunion cases exclusively.
Phone 1300 172 837/ 1800 362 753