It’s DNA Day today (25 April) – the annual, worldwide celebration of the amazing contribution that the discovery of the DNA double helix structure has made to medical science, forensics and genetics.
This year the celebrations are set to be doubled – as it’s not only the 70th anniversary of the incredible discovery of the double helix by scientists James Watson, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin, it’s also the 20th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project.
Set up by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) twenty years ago, DNA Day was created to mark one of the most important discoveries in molecular biology – the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953.
This incredible development gave us unparalleled insight into how the human body works, leading to life-changing medical treatments. Thirty years later, it also become the basis of DNA profiling, leading to the advancement of modern forensic science for a wide range of purposes – everything from relationship testing to solving crime!
The Human Genome Project is also one of the biggest international scientific accomplishments in history. The project, which started in 1990 and took 13 years to complete, was a comprehensive study of the DNA of a select set of organisms, which generated the first sequence of the human genome – a discovery that provided a wealth of knowledge about human biology and improved medical practices across the world.
In this milestone anniversary year, special celebrations for the project will take place at the NHGRI 20th Anniversary Symposium in the USA, along with other events across the world.
Both of these landmark discoveries were the stepping stones to making DNA testing available to everyone, so now ordinary people can find out the truth about their biological relationships through simple home testing.
Even though the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was discovered in 1953, it wasn’t until over thirty years later in 1984, that British geneticist Sir Alec Jeffreys developed genetic fingerprinting and DNA profiling, leading to the modern-day analysis we now use to look at different people’s DNA in the laboratory.
The process involves comparing the lengths of variable sections of repetitive DNA, known as short tandem repeat (STR) markers, between people.
These STR markers are highly variable in length between individuals, making DNA testing the most accurate and scientific way to identify someone.
DNA testing for everyone
Today, DNA testing is accessible to everyone and is used daily across the world.
Hundreds of thousands of people use DNA tests to prove that two or more people are biologically related, from paternity and prenatal paternity tests, to maternity, grandparent, aunt, uncle, twin, and sibling tests, as well as revealing baby gender.
In most cases, all that is required to test a biological relationship between individuals is a simple cheek (buccal) swab: a non-invasive and painless method of DNA sample collection that can be done quickly and easily at home.
By swabbing the inside of the cheek to collect buccal (cheek) cells, our scientists can analyse and compare DNA samples from two or more people to determine whether they are likely to be related to one another.
Paternity tests, for example, work by comparing the STR markers of a child with those of the alleged father.
With an AlphaBiolabs paternity test, secure, password-protected results are emailed next-day. *
For as long as people have relationship queries, scientific methods will continue to advance, enabling people to find the answers they need as quickly and as accurately as possible.
Where can I buy a DNA test on DNA Day?
AlphaBiolabs offers a wide range of DNA tests to suit every need, from paternity and prenatal paternity tests, through to more complex DNA relationship tests such as grandparent, and aunt/uncle tests.
From just £99, you can quickly and easily find out the truth about your family relationships.
AlphaBiolabs analyse up to 42 DNA markers – double the industry standard – so you can be sure of a 100% accurate and reliable result.
Please note that written consent (a signature) must be provided by any person aged 16 or over whose DNA samples are being submitted for testing.
It’s easy to order your peace of mind DNA test online now. However, if you require assistance, please call our friendly Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email email@example.com and we’ll help you find the test that’s best for you.
If you are a legal or social work professional requiring court-admissible DNA testing, you can request a quote online, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 600 1300 and a member of our legal sales team will be happy to discuss your requirements.
*Working days from when DNA samples are received by the laboratory. Samples must arrive at the laboratory by 10am.
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