Scientific Background

Understanding your DNA Test Result

Explanation of the technical terms used within such a report


The wording you find in DNA reports is mostly regulated by law. It specifies specific terms to express certain results so that all reports, no matter what laboratory conducted the analysis, are comparable.


Paternity practically proven


If we find a statistical propapility of 99,9% or more that the putative father is indeed the biological father of the child you DNA test result will be given as "pratically proven".

If you would like to increase the probability of paternity we can of course include the samples of the mother. The test results will be more accurate with a probability of up to 99,99999%. Whichever test you choose, rest assured that we will supply you with 100% conclusive results.

Paternity excluded


In paternity testing our lab will always achieve a 0 % probability of paternity if the putative father can be excluded as biological father. If this is the case we will rerun the whole analysis cost free to secure this result. Accordingly, the result "Paternity excluded" will always be 100% secure. 

Mitochondrial DNA

Mitochondrial DNA is passed from the mother to the child and can tell about maternal relatedness


It's solely women who can pass on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), but both, men and women inherit it. Thus, mtDNA can be used to track descendands from the same maternal line. Accordingly, analysis of mtDNA can supplement the results of a relationship test or a sibling test. If the test participants do not share the mtDNA profile they cannot be related thorugh the maternal line. Using the mtDNA in an analysis, relationship can be traced across generations.


mtDNA may show relations

  • between grandchildren and their maternal grandmother
  • between alleged siblings (do they have the same mother?)
  • between cousins (do they share the same maternal grandmother?)
  • between children and their alleged maternal aunts and maternal uncles
What is DNA?

DNA (Desoxyribonucleic Acid) is a molecule that contains our unique genetic code


This code can be found inside each cell and is passed on from the parents to every child.


What DNA tells us about the parentage


Children get half of their DNA from their mother and half from their father. While children inherit 50 : 50 % of their parent's genetic material the combination of this material differs from sibling to sibling.

That is what makes siblings similar but not identical.


Paternity testing is based on the fact of inherited DNA. Hence, if we test the DNA samples of a child and an alleged father, we look for similarities in their DNA. The statistical outcome of such a test can be up to 99,99999% accuracy in the test results.

How does paternity testing work?

With DNA from a cheek swab we determine the biological father of a child


Every cell in our bodies contains the complete set of DNA which determines who we are and what we look like.

Accordingly, we could work with samples from all over a person's body, either roots of the hair, dander from fingernails or a comb, saliva from cigarette buds etc.

Yet, the German Gene Diagnostics Act strictly restricts the choice to samples of blood or mouth swabs.


DNA analysation to establish a biological relationship


During a DNA paternity test we analyse the DNA code sequences, the so-called genetic markers. Related persons will have some similar genetic markers.In a first step we isolate the DNA from the cells of your sample using a method called 'polymerase chain reaction', or PCR. Following this, we do a 'genetic fingerprinting' to find similarities in the DNA samples


As we all inherit our DNA 50 : 50 % from our father and mother we can accordingly find matches in the DNA of 2 or more test participants and therefore conclude on their biological relatedness.


The female sex chromosome X is significant for the maternal inheritance


Chromosomes contain all our genetic information. The sex of a person is determined by the sex chromosomes X and Y. Females have DNA that is characterised by 2 X chromosomes, men possess 1 Y and 1 X chromosome.


As there is only 1 Y chromosome to inherit, at this point is becomes clear already that a mother must pass down her X chromosome to a son. Accordingly the one of her two X chromosomes a girl will always inheritfrom her father.



  • If sisters have different mothers, a X chromose test can always show if they share the same father by comparing their X chromosomes.

The Y chromosome is determining the human carrying it to be male


While females have two chromosomes of the same kind ( XX ) males have two different sex chromosomes ( YX ).


The Y chromosome can only be passed on from father to son, a DNA analysis can therefore show a paternal relationship between two or more persons if a matching Y chromosome can be found.

This is valid for the complete paternal line, thus applies not only for a paternity but also for a relationship between uncle, nephew, grandfather and grand sons.


In cases where a paternity test cannot be performed a Y chromose test can be very useful to determining biological relationships between male test participants. Males who share the same male ancestor will posess the same Y chromosome.

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