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  • DNA Testing Lab
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  • By Medical Doctors
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Non-standard DNA Test Specimens

At Universal Genetics, cheek swabs and blood specimens are the typical samples used for paternity test and other family relationship DNA tests. However, there are situations when the clients are not available to contribute viable cheek or blood specimens. For example, in some cases, we may have a deceased or missing tested party. Since DNA is the same in virtually all cells in our body, it is possible to use other types of non-standard samples for DNA testing.

Some non-standard DNA specimens include the following:

• Hair (must have roots attached)
• Muscle or organ tissues
• Bones
• Fingernails
• Chewing gums
• Cigarette butts
• Toothbrush
• Other frequently-used personal items

Non-standard DNA specimens require special treatment and procedures so that the DNA testing laboratory can maximize the chance of obtaining enough viable DNA for the requested test. Our laboratory has very successful experience extracting DNA from difficult samples. However, each type of specimen and each case scenario are different. The success rate of obtaining viable DNA varies depending on the type of specimen, and how it was stored and handled before it arrives in our laboratory. Because of the extra work and more sophisticated techniques required during this process, there are additional charges for handling non-standard samples.

In addition, the circumstances under which the specimens were collected, stored, and handled before they arrive in our laboratory are factored in to satisfy the chain-of-custody requirements, which determine if the results are legally admissible.

In our experience, some of the good chain-of-custody specimens may come from a hospital, coroner’s office, medical examiner’s office, or funeral home. If one of your tested parties has the specimens stored with these facilities, you will need to provide some information about them when you call. Our staff would like to know the name and contact information of the facility that has the specimen, the age and storage condition of the specimen, and the size and amount of the specimen available for the DNA test.

For more information about the non-standard DNA test specimens and the additional charges for each type of specimen, please call 1-800-914-1002.

Accreditations: AABB is the regulating body for the DNA paternity and family relationship testing industry.
604 E. Huntington Drive, Los Angeles, CA 91016
Toll Free 1-800-914-1002
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