Since easyDNA has launched their advances forensics DNA testing services, they have noticed an upsurge in the demand for DNA testing of deceased persons.

KENT, UK 27/02/2009:  international DNA testing experts, easyDNA, recently announced that they have noticed an upsurge in testing requests on the deceased since the introduction of their Advanced Forensic DNA Testing Services earlier in the year. The main orders for such DNA tests are from relatives wanting to prove their relationship to the deceased for inheritance reasons.  Standard tests are not always sufficiently accurate with samples that have degenerated, but the new advanced techniques use more sophisticated equipment capable of extracting DNA from degraded or very small samples.

Due to the legal implications normally involved in such tests, there must be a strictly observed chain of custody for the results to be admissible in law.  The deceased has to be formally identified, the samples, which are normally hair samples or nail clippings, have to be notarized and securely witnessed, documented and packed, and then transported to the laboratory by recognized courier. The laboratory also has to continue this chain of custody until the results are available. If exhumation is required, the samples will normally be taken by a forensic pathologist nominated to carry out the task.

Andrew Alexander is the International Director of Sales and Marketing for easyDNA, and he commented, “Many DNA cases recently have involved alleged relatives making a claim on an estate, and only a comparison of the DNA of these alleged relatives with that of the deceased person can prove that relationship or disprove it. The laboratories can carry out that comparison, and our quality standards enable us to carry out DNA analysis for presentation as evidence in court. In the case of samples from deceased persons, it is recommended that advanced techniques are used in order that sufficient good DNA is extracted from the sample for a valid comparison. “