Choosing a mitochondrial
Mitochondrial DNA testing should only be performed
by laboratories with considerable experience
in handling the unusually difficult samples
that require this form of testing. The primary
reason for this is that experienced labs can
extract minimal amounts of mtDNA from difficult
samples. In the event of a sample failure, an
inexperienced lab would never know whether their
extractions and PCRs were simply not sensitive
enough, or whether the sample lacked non-degraded
DNA altogether. In addition, contamination controls
are heightened in a mitochondrial DNA laboratory,
where working at the limits of sensitivity is
standard operating procedure.
Ask your current mtDNA analysis provider what
percentage of tested hairs and bones yield results
in their hands. We currently obtain results
in well over 90% of cases because we apply methods
specifically designed to recover minimal and
degraded mitochondrial DNA. Individual sample
handling, which greatly increases the likelihood
of DNA recovery, is necessary in a mtDNA laboratory.
A few Questions to Always Ask:
- Is Lab fully accredited for mtDNA analysis?
(We have been since 2001)
- What is their success rate?
(Ours is >95% for hair evidence, 90% overall)
- How much experience do they have?
(Our Senior Scientist has over 19 years)
- Do they batch or process evidence individually?
(We never batch process)
- Is expedited service available?
(We will provide expedited services with the
same precision and accuracy as provided with
normal casework. However, restrictions do
apply, please contact us for more information.)