DNA tests are performed at DDC’s laboratory
using the best equipment and the most stringent procedures to ensure
accurate and fast results.
• DDC Dual Process™
• Biomek® Robotics
• GeneAmp® PCR
• ABI Prism®
DDC Dual Process™
Results of a DNA test are often used to make life-changing decisions,
either by the tested parties themselves or by those who have the
authority to do so, such as a court of law or a government agency.
DDC’s Dual Process™ ensures that every test result we
release is accurate and that our sample handling procedures hold
up against rigorous legal examination.
In this process, each DNA sample that arrives
in the lab is divided in two for independent testing by two teams.
At each step, the samples are identified and checked against our
records. A staff member signs off at each step. In this way, the
samples are tracked and accounted for throughout the process. The
raw data produced from the independent tests are reviewed by our
laboratory directors to see if the results match. The necessary
statistical calculations are then performed in order to answer questions
of paternity, identity, and family relationships.
and Biomek® 2000
The DNA samples that our lab receives, most often buccal swabs and
sometimes blood, need to undergo several DNA purification and preparation
steps before the actual DNA test. The cheek or blood cells first
need to be lysed to release the DNA. Secondly, proteins, fats and
other cellular materials have to be removed so that they do not
interfere with the DNA test. Finally, the proper amount of DNA must
be added to special reagents for the DNA test. Traditionally, these
steps would have been performed by a laboratory technician, sample
Each of our Biomek® systems allows
us to perform the above DNA purification and preparation steps in
batches of 384 at a time—thousands in a day. With precise
and accurate liquid handling methods, these robots ensure consistency
and reliability of our DNA tests. They also reduce the possibility
for human error and sample mix-ups while increasing the number of
DNA tests we can process each day.
The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) has revolutionized the DNA testing industry by providing a quick method for reproducing specific portions
of a DNA molecule for subsequent analysis. DDC invested in this
technology early on, and we have further refined our processes to
provide seamless and faster sample processing. We use several GeneAmp®
PCR systems in most of our DNA tests, especially for paternity and
The ABI Prism®
Our laboratory is equipped with several ABI Prism® 3100 genetic
analyzers that process the large number of cases we receive each
day. The ABI Prism® performs one of the most essential steps
in DNA testing—capillary analysis. In this step, DNA molecules
produced from PCR are examined to determine characteristics such
as size or sequence (the arrangement of DNA molecules in a DNA strand).
The ABI Prism® generates the raw data that is needed for the
statistical calculations that determine paternity, identity, and
family relationships. Statistical analysis of the data is performed
by one of our PhD's using the specially designed software.