Back in December I received a DNA swab kit (The story’s in the genes), took the swab and sent it away. Now when I log in to my progress report page with my unique code I can see that my kit has been received and is in the system.
The kits are received at the Houston office of Family Tree DNA and checked in. All of the kits are assigned to a batch and shipped to the Arizona Research Labs at the University of Arizona.
The next steps will be:
DNA ISOLATION: The robotic DNA isolation uses silica-coated iron beads. In the presence of the appropriate chemicals DNA will bind to silica. The robot then uses magnetic probes to collect the beads (and DNA) and transfer them through several chemical washes and finally into a storage buffer, which allows the beads to release the DNA. At this point the beads are collected and discarded.
DNA ANALYSIS AND QUALITY CONTROL: The samples are transferred into PCR amplification plates for testing … and the products are sorted by size and color.
A laboratory staff member uses a computer program to assign scores to the samples. The computer generated scores are then reviewed by two additional laboratory staff members to produce finalized data.