Inside Our Lab

DNA Analysis

The test procedure begins once your saliva sample arrives at our laboratory. The first step is DNA isolation and detection. Your samples will be transferred to the skilled hands of our DNA technicians, who follow a carefully optimized protocol of DNA isolation, DNA amplification, and DNA detection.

During the detection reaction, we extract the information hidden in your genes. The final step is DNA sequence data interpretation, wherein our highly qualified DNA experts capitalize on their decades of DNA research from leading institutions around the world.

Using the latest advances in the field of bioinformatics, our DNA experts will prepare a detailed report indicating the any potential risk detected.

PCR and DNA Fragmentation

The amount of DNA in the original sample is very low, so the sample must be amplified to provide enough material for APEX detection. This amplification occurs during a chemical reaction called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), wherein each DNA molecule is copied many times, creating billions of copies of each molecule by the end of the reaction.

Selected regions of DNA are amplified. DNA molecules are very long, and for ease of handling, they are fragmented into smaller pieces after the amplification.

APEX Reaction

The next step is critical. During this step, the fragmented DNA mixture from the previous step is transferred to the chip, on which short single-stranded DNA molecules called primers are chemically attached. A reaction mixture contains nucleotides for DNA synthesis as well as the four DNA terminator nucleotides labelled with fluorescent dyes – each nucleotide with a distinct color.

When a terminator nucleotide is incorporated into the DNA molecule, the synthesis of this particular molecule stops. By the end of this reaction, an array of DNA fragments of different sizes each labelled with a unique color depending on the terminator nucleotide is generated. This reaction is carefully optimized to obtain the highest signal-to-noise ratio and to ensure the specificity of detection.

APEX Detection

The chips with fluorescently labeled DNA arrays are visualized in a QuattroImager, a device equipped with four lasers and a highly sensitive, specialized camera. The fluorescent color patterns are recorded and then analyzed by the Genorama Genotyping Software, which converts the image information into DNA sequence data. This sequence data is then used for detection.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Using the DNA sequence data, the DNA expert, in collaboration with bioinformaticians, the DNA expert then computes the risk. A detailed analysis containing sequencing information is delivered to the client.

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