Cheek Swab DNA Testing: Everything You Need to Know
DNA testing is changing the world in so many ways from criminal investigations, court evidence, paternity disputes, and even in immigration matters. In many cases, DNA evidence has had life-altering effects like overturning wrongful convictions, resulting in people being freed from prison. All of this is thanks to modern science. Since James Watson and Francis Crick made their ground-breaking conclusion about the structure of DNA in 1953, there has been an explosion of new discoveries in molecular genetics, genomics, DNA sequencing, and more that have advanced DNA testing to where it is today.
Cheek Swab Method
Before a sample is taken, a staff member verifies the person’s identity and has the person providing the sample sign a consent form. The cheek swab method is the easiest to administer. It’s used most often when collecting samples for paternity tests or at immigration checkpoints to ensure that adults are legitimately claiming the children they’re traveling with as their biological children. It’s also used for genealogy testing where a sample is sent through the mail.
There are several cheek swab collection methods. The dry procedure scrapes tissue from the inside of a person’s cheeks. The wet procedure involves swishing a liquid around in the person’s mouth and spitting into a specimen cup.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Cheek Swab Method
The advantages of the cheek swab method are there is no needle to administer, and no blood is drawn from the puncture. This makes most people more relaxed. The cheek swab is fast and relatively non-invasive. The DNA sample is valid indefinitely if stored properly. The downside is that bacteria in the mouth can attack the cells containing DNA if the swab isn’t dried and stored properly.