Our laboratory provides the highest accuracy in testing through our stringent laboratory standards and procedures.
Standards for Conclusive Results
Our stringent process ensures results are highly accurate. A measure of the quality of results is the conclusiveness of the test. Different laboratories have different standards for what they consider “conclusive results.” We consider a test conclusive only if we can achieve a 0% probability of paternity for exclusions (the alleged father is not the biological father), or at least a 99.99% inclusion (the alleged father is the biological father).
Many other labs only guarantee a 99.00% inclusion, which we do not consider conclusive at all. A 99.00% inclusion means that there is a 1% chance that another man could be tested with the same resultand be named the child’s father. With a 99.99% inclusion, the chances of a false positive are reduced to a a minute degree. We continue testing until we achieve at least a 99.99% inclusion, and we often get values much higher.
Safeguards in Procedures
From the moment we receive your samples to the time we report your test results, we take strict measures to ensure your case is handled with care and accuracy. These measures include those used in criminal forensic laboratories and our laboratory's own Dual Process, in which we indepedently test each person's DNA samples twice. The following are examples of safeguards in procedures that our laboratory staff takes:
- Separating each person's sample for Dual Process testing
- Double-checking sample labels against case records at each step in the DNA test
- Signing off on a checklist every time a step in the DNA test is completed
- Testing each person's sample twice, from DNA extraction and PCR to statistical analysis (see Technology page for details), by two independent lab teams
- Cross-checking the data produced from each team for consistency and accuracy
- Performing a comprehensive review of the case by one of our M.D. or Ph.D. scientists, leading to the final report
Extended Testing and Results
Some paternity and family relationship cases may have results that are difficult to interpret conclusively. In such cases, we use our large human genetics database to aid us in further analysis and testing.
For example, some mutations (random changes in the DNA) may affect an alleged father’s paternity test results. We run statistical analyses against our large database to find out how often such mutations occur. Our lab also has developed extended DNA testing methods to aid in analyzing unexpected results and difficult cases (for example, paternity cases with closely related alleged fathers). With these additional procedures, our scientists are ready to tackle any challenging case that comes along, minimizing the possibility of false results.