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What is DNA?

What is DNA?

Our DNA is what makes us who we are. It contains the building blocks of our genetic code, instructing how our bodies grow and function and determining our physical characteristics such as our eye, skin and hair colour. Decades of research have enabled us to decode the human genome – the DNA that makes up our entire genetic structure.


The DNA molecule is a twisted ladder structure, known as the double helix, and is made up of two sugar-phosphate strands connecting a series of ‘rungs’. The rungs are made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). These chemicals bond together to form base pairs – A with T and C with G – and it is the order in which these base pairs are sequenced that controls how the body works. More than 99% of our individual DNA sequence is the same as every other human on the planet; it is the variation in the sequence of letters in the other 1% of this code that makes each of us unique. The only exception to this is identical twins as they share the same genetic code.


It is thanks to the advancements in genetics and genomics that we now have the capability to use information extracted from DNA in so many different ways. 25th April is National DNA Day, which celebrates the extraordinary advances that have been made and the impact they have had on society.


Relationship Testing

The most common form of relationship testing is Paternity testing. Since a child inherits half of its DNA from its mother and half from its father, comparing the child’s DNA with that of a potential father will therefore determine whether they share a biological relationship. Other common types of relationship testing include gransparents, maternity, sibling and twins.


Brashan DNA Services carries out a wide range of relationship DNA testing for members of the public and for the legal sector. Our legal DNA tests follow strict chain of custody procedures and the results can be used as evidence in court. To find out more about any of our Dna testing services, email [email protected]

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