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Paternity DNA testing kit, Utah, United States, 2000

Paternity DNA testing kit, Utah, United States, 2000

Credits: Science Museum

Because a parents’ genes, carried in DNA, are passed to their children, tests can be carried out to determine, for instance, whether a particular man is the biological father of a child. With this kit, two swabs are required from the mother, child and father and would be sent for DNA testing within 24 hours. The samples are taken by rotating the brushes, supplied in plastic tubes, for thirty seconds in the right cheek. The manufacturers, Affiliated Gene Inc, state that the results are confidential but cannot be used as court evidence. The test costs $325 (roughly £220).

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Glossary: DNA

DNA stores the information, or blueprints, of every cell and is located in the genes. It is made up of two strands which form a double helix that is linked by hydrogen bonds. It was first described in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.

Glossary: gene

Part of the nucleus of a cell that determines how our bodies function. Genes are passed from parents to children.

Glossary: DNA testing kit

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