DNA test: are you the father of your child or not?

The DNA test is a term that is used inappropriately on television these days. The makers behind CSI claim that DNA research is the technological innovation in the forensic field. The DNA test is also popular in other circumstances: divorce cases, paternity tests, DNA test for the baby and hereditary research. To what do DNA tests owe this popularity?

What is DNA?

James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the solution to a mystery on February 21, 1953: the secret behind heredity was no longer a secret. On this day, scientists discovered a model of DNA, a substance that appears to be strongly linked to heredity.
Our body is made up of an enormous number of cells . These cells together form what we call our body. You have special heart cells, nerve cells, brain cells and so on. Each cell has its own nucleus which contains unique information: DNA. This DNA contains all hereditary information regarding the predisposition of organisms. DNA contains information about your blood type, hair color and skin color, among other things.

A spiral staircase

Our DNA appears to be shaped like a spiral staircase. The handrails of the spiral staircases are two long strands of nucleotides, which together form the staircase, or a double helix. These handrails are connected to each other by the base pairs.
Such a strand of DNA is made up of a number of parts. Each nucleotide contains three parts:

  • A base
  • Deoxyribose group
  • Phosphate group

This is how DNA gets its name: deoxyribonucleic acid

Four bases

DNA has four types of bases: guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine. These bases can only be connected in a few ways, but the order, or sequence, is infinite. The deoxyribose group and the phosphate groups hold the bases together.

Application of DNA tests

In the past, DNA was only used to track down criminals by comparing DNA found at the crime scene with DNA from the suspect. Nowadays, DNA still has a number of applications, of which the parentage test or paternity test is one of the most controversial and striking applications.

Are you the father of your child or not?

If you want to find out whether you are indeed the father of your child, as your partner claims, you can take a paternity test or kinship test. This involves taking some mucous membrane from you that contains DNA, which is then compared with your child’s DNA. Because each child receives half of the chromosomes from the parents, the child’s DNA pattern must closely match your DNA pattern if you are the father.
You can have a paternity test carried out for around 300 euros, and the research result of the DNA tests is legally valid. You can expect such a research result approximately 2 weeks after the test.

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