Applications of DNA Testing

The process of DNA testing is more or less an expensive one, and it's mostly beyond the budget of a common man. This article provides information about the applications of this method, and related topics.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the primary genetic material in living organisms. The term human genetics is associated with many aspects, like the transfer of genetic material from one generation to the next, the phenotypic and genotypic traits of an individual, etc. DNA is also associated with many genetic disorders and family issues, related to one's family history.

Every individual's body cells include DNA, containing two sets of chromosomes. Each set consists of 23 chromosomes. One set is inherited from the father, while the other one is inherited from the mother. Exceptions are sperms and ova, which contain only one set. Just like blood and urine testing, DNA can also be tested. This technique has been developed recently with the advancement of biotechnology and genetics branches. Several complicated and accurate tests have now been approved, which make DNA testing easy. There could be many reasons for carrying out this procedure.
  • A foremost application is to claim the custody of a child. In cases of divorces or paternity issues, the truth can only be revealed by DNA. DNA samples of the child and father are examined and matched, to sort out such cases. These techniques have been commonly used to determine the identity of the father.
  • In forensic sciences, a blood sample is examined, and the resultant DNA testing helps find the criminal. In cases of rape, the vaginal sample of the victim is analyzed, to catch hold of the accused.
  • This technique has been a part and parcel of DNA research for a long time now; being the main principle involving the study of the ancestral history, and evolutionary relationships over the years.
According to statistics, this procedure has been used for solving paternity issues, most of the time. There are many companies that offer affordable and free DNA testing. Their popularity is due to the usage of less expensive techniques, devices, and chemicals, which are affordable to the layman. These organizations are known to sell testing kits which are very helpful. The steps involved in these do-it-yourself home paternity tests are relatively easy, although, they need to followed carefully, to get the right result.

Most of the DNA tests are highly expensive, and the ones peddled on Internet may not be trustworthy. For knowing the family history or ancestral relations, one could use low-cost DNA kits available in market, priced around USD 100. But in case of legal matters like a child's custody, it is better to opt for better quality kits which can provide correct results. Along with testing centers, there are a few laboratories which undertake these techniques. However, they should be approached, only after verifying their reliability, and how effective their procedures have been. The chemicals, kits, and instruments used in such labs should be good enough to provide accurate results. The cost involved would be approximately USD 300.