It has been interesting to be part of the evolution of the science
Rockwood, PA (PRWEB) February 15, 2011
Gaskin Forensics Inc. (GFI Laboratory) is proud to announce the world’s first 41 marker DNA test, allowing for greater accuracy in family relationship and paternity test cases. Until now, technology only allowed for 16 markers to be tested, which can lead to inconclusive or misleading results in some cases. The additional markers of GFI Laboratory’s 41 marker test, dubbed AccuPlex41, represent the newest tool in eliminating doubts about family relationships using DNA.
The field of family relationship DNA testing, which includes paternity test cases, has come a long way since the days of blood typing. In those days, the blood type comparison between a possible father and child worked well if the man was not the father. However, blood typing was a very poor quality test for determining if he was the father. These lack-luster results lead to the eventual decline of blood typing for paternity with the advent DNA testing.
Advancements in the usage of DNA in forensic cases coincided with its use in family relationship testing. As DNA was first used in forensic cases in the mid 1980s, family relationship cases weren’t far behind. “It has been interesting to be part of the evolution of the science,” says Zach Gaskin, President/CEO of Gaskin Forensics Inc. “In the early ’90s we were testing six markers and initially happy with the results, but as we processed more cases, it became clear that we needed more markers. We noticed that some cases either needed more family members or more markers tested. It’s not always possible to test more family members.”
In an effort to resolve more complex cases without adding more family members, AccuPlex41 was incorporated into the customer’s options when choosing their DNA test at GFI Laboratory.
The progression of the number of markers used has had a few stopping points over the years. For a time forensic and paternity labs used 6, 9, 13 and 16 marker DNA tests. Currently, the number of markers used by the FBI and crime labs for criminal databasing is 13. Nearly all relationship testing labs use 16 markers. “The main reason for growth in the number of markers has been the need to increase statistical power and accuracy,” Gaskin says.
While the 16 marker test GFI Laboratory and other labs offer may be “good enough” for some cases, there are several types of cases that will benefit from the additional markers.
“It’s always disappointing when we tell two possible siblings that the 16 marker test wasn’t conclusive enough and they feel taken because the test didn’t work for them. The AccuPlex41 test gives those same two siblings the best chance to answer whether they share the same father or not,” Gaskin says. “Some cases need more than the 16 marker test can provide because the statistics associated with comparing two individuals can be weak, even in paternity cases.”
Comparisons can be made between grandparents, aunts and uncles, or siblings of the child. The farther the possible relative is on the family tree from the child, the harder it is to prove a relationship to the child. A paternity test can also be inconclusive if the man has passed on a mutation to the child or simply shares very common DNA types with the child. “Solving the puzzle of relationships with DNA can be challenging because often the puzzle is missing a piece -- the father. With 16 markers the picture just isn’t as clear as it is with 41 markers,” Gaskin says.
This advancement in the field of family relationship DNA testing has, like most inventions, come from necessity. For those seeking the truth about their family relationships or needing to fill the void of not having information important in their lives, AccuPlex41 may be the puzzle piece they were missing.
About Gaskin Forensics Inc.
Gaskin Forensics Inc. (GFI Laboratory) is a leading full-service provider of advanced DNA testing primarily for forensic and family relationship applications. The company provides comprehensive DNA family relationship testing to numerous distributing companies and individuals seeking to verify family relationships worldwide. The company also provides research and development and DNA consulting services. The company’s strong market positions in these areas reflect innovation and expertise, and the company's reputation for exceptional quality, reliability and customer service.
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