Analysing a person's DNA was once a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive task—reserved for the police, and performed in high-tech laboratories. But these days, you can pick up a home paternity test from a discount store for as little as £5 (plus a lab fee of around £100 for processing the samples). But can you really trust a cheap, at-home DNA test?
The DNA test as we know it today is a very recent development. It only became available around three decades ago, giving families & lawmakers at last, a solid, accurate, and scientific way to prove who is the father of a child.
"Are my twins identical?" It might sound like a simple question to answer, but in reality it's not always easy to tell.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have confirmed that they are using rapid DNA testing at seven locations along the US-Mexico border, in order to identify groups of people falsely claiming to be families. The technology can produce a result in around 90 minutes—compared to the previously used police testing process which would take weeks.
DNA testing as we know it has been around since the 1980s, when the development of PCR finally gave scientists an accurate, reliable way to test if two individuals were related. But it probably wasn't until the late 90s and early 2000s that the idea of a DNA test really entered the popular conversation, thanks to reality talk shows such as The Jeremy Kyle Show in the UK and The Jerry Springer Show in the States. Today, there are several commercial companies that can perform a paternity test and settle family disputes, using little more than a cheek swab taken from the child, and their alleged father.