What are the Chances that a Forensic Test will be Successful?

ISO 17025 Accredited Laboratory

Genex cannot guarantee that your forensic sample will provide useful information. The success of the DNA test depends upon the quality of the sample that you submit to our laboratory. If the sample that you submit has a large quantity of high quality DNA which is not degraded, the test results can be just as conclusive as a swab or blood sample. However, if the DNA in your sample is degraded, then the test may not yield any useful information.

The list below indicates factors which may cause DNA to break down:

Moisture. DNA stores best in the dried form. If you have a wet sample, such as stains on a cloth, it is best to allow the cloth to dry completely as soon as possible. If the forensic sample remains damp or wet, there is a chance that fungal or bacterial growth on the damp sample may break down the DNA.

Time. DNA breaks down over time. The sooner a forensic sample is submitted for testing, the better. For instance, a sample which is only a few days old has a much better chance of working than a sample which is a few months old.

Exposure. Excess humidity, heat, or freezing can break down DNA. If you will be submitting a sample to Genex for testing, it is best to allow the sample to dry (if it is damp). After the sample is dry, store the sample in a clean paper envelope. Most samples can be shipped directly to Genex at room temperature.

Contamination. Contamination can affect the results of your test. When collecting and handling your forensic sample, it is important to ensure that you do not contaminate the sample with your own DNA (always wash your hands or wear gloves, try not to touch any stains directly with your fingers, do not cough or sneeze on the sample).

Back to DNA Forensic Test »