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  • Using other kind of Samples to be collected

    Dear All,

    I have bought a FTDNA Family Finder test kit for my father, but he died some days before it has arrived. I have kept his user razor with me. I know it is not the kind of sample FTDNA works (like salive).
    I have tried other forensic labs, but they all asked me for a huge amount of money I do not have.
    My question is, if I just brush the cotton swabs over his razor, would it be possible that I get any results?
    I mean, is it worthy give a try, or it makes no sense at all.
    Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by psinacio View Post
    Dear All,

    I have bought a FTDNA Family Finder test kit for my father, but he died some days before it has arrived. I have kept his user razor with me. I know it is not the kind of sample FTDNA works (like salive).
    I have tried other forensic labs, but they all asked me for a huge amount of money I do not have.
    My question is, if I just brush the cotton swabs over his razor, would it be possible that I get any results?
    I mean, is it worthy give a try, or it makes no sense at all.
    Thanks.
    In simple terms: no.

    Explanation: FTDNA specifically excludes working with other types of DNA samples. In general, for FTDNA or any other DNA testing company, if you do not have a proper DNA sample, you may try to start with a company that offers
    DNA extraction services.
    If they are able to extract quality DNA in the sufficient quantity (minimum: 20ul of 50ng/ul, OD260/OD280 ~ 1.8), then you can approach FTDNA. I am afraid that in your case there would not be enough of usable DNA, but companies that perform DNA extractions services would be able to offer you a better explanation than my guess.


    Mr. W.

    Comment


    • #3
      psinacio, as dna has posted, neither FTDNA nor the other major companies will currently use samples other than cheek swabs (for FTDNA and MyHeritage) or saliva samples (such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe), unless you have an extracted sample as dna described (for FTDNA).

      BUT - hold on to any items which may contain DNA that you do have for your father, such as:
      • the razor (for possible skin flakes, not the little pieces of hair)
      • envelopes (for saliva from stamps or envelope flap)
      • any blood sample
      • hairbrushes (if any of the hair has the root)
      • toothbrushes
      • etc.

      There may be more companies who will offer DNA extraction from such samples within the next 5 years or so, according to a post on Facebook I saw recently by genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger. No word on if the cost will come down, but it should be a big market, so one can have hope that it will become less expensive.

      The small pieces of hair in the razor will not be useful for autosomal or Y DNA, because they do not contain the root of the hair, which is what carries the nuclear DNA needed for those tests. Strands of hair without the root may possibly be used for mtDNA; they usually do not have nuclear DNA. You have to be careful and not touch the hair, or any other item that might be used for DNA testing, so as not to contaminate it with your own DNA.

      Your best bet in the meantime is to do Family Finder testing on yourself and any available & willing siblings of your father, or his close cousins (the oldest generation is considered best to test). If you are male, or there is a male in your father's direct paternal line who can test for any Y-DNA testing you may wish to do, test them for that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KATM View Post
        psinacio, as dna has posted, neither FTDNA nor the other major companies will currently use samples other than cheek swabs (for FTDNA and MyHeritage) or saliva samples (such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe), unless you have an extracted sample as dna described (for FTDNA).

        BUT - hold on to any items which may contain DNA that you do have for your father, such as:
        • the razor (for possible skin flakes, not the little pieces of hair)
        • envelopes (for saliva from stamps or envelope flap)
        • any blood sample
        • hairbrushes (if any of the hair has the root)
        • toothbrushes
        • etc.

        There may be more companies who will offer DNA extraction from such samples within the next 5 years or so, according to a post on Facebook I saw recently by genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger. No word on if the cost will come down, but it should be a big market, so one can have hope that it will become less expensive.

        The small pieces of hair in the razor will not be useful for autosomal or Y DNA, because they do not contain the root of the hair, which is what carries the nuclear DNA needed for those tests. Strands of hair without the root may possibly be used for mtDNA; they usually do not have nuclear DNA. You have to be careful and not touch the hair, or any other item that might be used for DNA testing, so as not to contaminate it with your own DNA.

        Your best bet in the meantime is to do Family Finder testing on yourself and any available & willing siblings of your father, or his close cousins (the oldest generation is considered best to test). If you are male, or there is a male in your father's direct paternal line who can test for any Y-DNA testing you may wish to do, test them for that.

        I know your frustration. I have my dad's razor and envelopes and stamps he has licked. I have my mom's hairbrush, envelopes and also cheek and throat swabs from when she was in a nursing home. Even forensic labs I have checked with refuse to test them. It's so upsetting. I'm holding on to these things.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tenn4ever View Post
          I know your frustration. I have my dad's razor and envelopes and stamps he has licked. I have my mom's hairbrush, envelopes and also cheek and throat swabs from when she was in a nursing home. Even forensic labs I have checked with refuse to test them. It's so upsetting. I'm holding on to these things.
          Have you checked with FTDNA regarding the cheek or throat swabs?

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm sorry for your loss. My great-aunt had a similar situation. Her husband was adopted but he died before she could order a test. Now she is hoping that his children will do a test. Probably your best option is to test yourself, your siblings, and your dad's siblings.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KATM View Post
              Have you checked with FTDNA regarding the cheek or throat swabs?
              I don't think they would accept it. It's twelve years old and dried up. I have kept it in a sealed bag ever since I swabbed my mom.

              Comment


              • #8
                No harm in asking - you might be surprised. Although, if in a sealed plastic baggie or similar, I've read that that is not the best for storage of DNA swabs.

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