Extensive trials by our in-house analysts have proven nails to be a good source of DNA. The nail clippings are easy to self-collect without needing a collection kit or assistance by professional sample collectors. The collected nail clippings can be stored long-term at room temperature and can be transported to the laboratory for processing by normal post.
Simply send us your nail clippings, and if we can get a DNA profile, we can perform a DNA relationship test in the usual way (fee applies).
The results of the viability study can be made available in up to 5 days.
The results of the DNA relationship test will then be sent by secure, password-protected email either the next day or same day, depending on the which option you choose when placing your order.
Both toe nails and finger nails can be used for nail DNA testing. As many nail clippings as possible are required as this provides more sample to be analysed. The advantage of using toe nails over finger nails is that there is less potential for contamination. Acrylic nails, Shellac and other forms of nail varnish may need to be removed as this may impact on the DNA results.
Nail samples can be used for both peace of mind testing and for legal cases but it is important to gain consent for all samples that are sent in to be analysed. For legally defensible results, the nail samples would need to be collected under chain of custody conditions. This means that the nail samples do not leave the custody of those who are legally responsible for ensuring the authenticity of the DNA testing results.
When the nail clippings arrive at our laboratory, the first step is to extract the DNA from them. If a profile can be retrieved, the nail DNA will be analysed for up to 42 DNA Short Tandem Repeats (STR) markers. If a DNA profile cannot be retrieved from the nails, we will contact you and arrange to return the cost of the DNA relationship test. A refund will not be possible for the laboratory work already undertaken for the nail DNA viability study.