How has DNA testing evolved over time?

As a biology expert would say: " genetic markers never lie ". Today, a paternity test, which is done by comparing the child's genes with those of the presumed father, allows for a 99.9 % sure result. 

Blood group paternity: a related story

The ABO system or the classification of blood types

After the First World War, progress in the surgery and on the knowledge of blood were spectacular, because of the experience of the doctors during the conflict. The blood transfusionThe rules of compatibility between certain groups, the rhesus factor ... all this was unknown before the 14-18 war. It was at this time that the existence of the four blood groups was identified: 

  • Blood type A
  • Blood type B
  • Blood type AB
  • Blood type O

The first blood type paternity test

The evolution of tests from paternity blood type began in 1920. Although the genotype of each individual was not yet known, it was possible to get a lead on the parentage of a newbornby taking a blood sample from the presumed father and the child. 

The different paternity tests over time

Serological tests

A decade later, in the 1930s, the discovery of serological tests. They came back to the forefront with the advent of Covid-19 and even if the procedures and techniques, as well as the equipment used, have evolved, the principle has remained the same. A blood sample must be taken to observe certain specific proteins indicating the particularities of the parentage group.

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HLA tests with blood group paternity 

The HLA systemabbreviation of the English human Leucocyte antigen (human leukocyte antigen), is different for each individual, except in identical twins. This part of the genetic code was discovered in the 1970s. The observations are made on a blood sample taken from the subject and it is very efficient to determine the paternity of a newborn with a safety rate of up to 90 %. Often, we used the HLA test in combination with blood typing. 

The first real DNA tests

It is in 1980 that biology really talks about DNA testing. Genetic testing has taken a big leap forward with the more precise discovery of the characteristics of deoxyribonucleic acid in our cells. Each individual has genes that he or she inherits from his or her parents, so that a newborn baby has 50 % of genetic characteristics of his father. At that time, blood collection was still necessary. 

The PCR genetic test

The PCR testfrom English Polymerase Chain ReactionThis is also a process discovered in the 90s, but which became famous again with the Covid-19. However, it is a process that also allows a paternity test, with a very low percentage of uncertainty. The greatest advance in biology with this type of analysis is that it is not as invasive as a blood transfusion or the use of a needle to determine the blood type. All it takes is one saliva sampling to be able to observe the genes of each individual. 

After the 2000s: the discovery of specific genes and DNA sequencing

Human DNA can be expressed as a very long string of letters. The first SNP paternity tests, for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (single nucleotide polymorphism), emerged in the 2000s. The nucleotide chain is analyzed to compare the similarities in the genes of the father and the newborn. In 2010, it was possible to make the DNA sequencing of each individual. 

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The evolution of DNA testing in France 

What does the law say about genetic testing in France?             

The genetic testing in France should not be undertaken lightly, as if one were taking a blood sample to find out one's type. The sequencing of genes, for each individual who wants to do it, whether it concerns a future mother who wants to know the paternity of her child or to know the flaws of her immune system, the law must be respected. Only a judge can order the launching of the analysis procedures and this must be done with the consent of the person whose genes are to be sequenced. collect the genes

How do the French who want to know the secret of their genes?

Screen for hemolytic disease, determine compatibility of a organ donor or know your risk of having the type 1 or 2 diabetesonly a few laboratories are allowed to do genetic testing. The best way for individuals to do this is to seek the services of a lawyer to initiate the procedures. The pregnant women who want to know if the man who shares their life is responsible for their pregnancy, must go through irregular procedures, if they do not go through the judge. 

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