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FAQ on DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid)
ulti-Sectoral Programme on Violence Against Women

DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid)

1. What is DNA ?

DNA or Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid is the chemical store house of an individual's genetic material. It is a tiny threadlike molecule that contains all the information required for the life process. It is the hereditary blueprint passed onto us by our parents. It governs the inheritance of all the characteristics of an individual such as eye colour, hair colour, stature, bone density, personality, likes, dislikes etc. It is a component of virtually all cells in human body. A person's DNA is same in each cell and do not change throughout lifetime. Any biological evidence like blood , saliva, semen, hair, teeth, bone tissue etc. therefore, can serve as a potential source of DNA.

2. What is DNA Profiling ?

DNA Profiling is a process of extracting and analyzing DNA of a biological sample taken from an individual (e. g. victim, suspect, accused ) or from the crime scene. In human about 99.9% of DNA we inherit from our parents is identical among all individuals and difference exists in only 0.1% DNA. Modern DNA profiling involves looking into these differences that exist in DNA molecules as microsatelite sequences or STRs ( Short Tandem Repeats ), using sophisticated molecular biological techniques. The analytical process generates a digital output, which is called the DNA profile. Except for identical twin , every individual has a unique DNA profile.

3. What is DNA Paternity Testing ?

Paternity testing simply means establishing fatherhood or motherhood or both. The DNA molecules we inherits from our parents follow certain rules. A child inherits half of his/her DNA from the father and the rest half from the mother. So, half of the child's DNA pattern should match the father and the rest half with the mother. It is that principle that allows DNA paternity test to be possible.

4. What is DNA Identity Testing ?

DNA identity testing means establishing identity of an individual based on DNA analysis.It usually involves the comparison of DNA profile obtained from the person of question with the DNA profile obtain from the close relatives( e.g. father, mother, child ). Identity test is applied in situations where the identity of unrecognizable dead bodies found in road accident, plane crash, or mass disasters like fire accident, bomb blast, flood etc.

5. What is Forensic DNA Analysis ?

Forensic DNA analysis usually consists of comparing DNA extracted from crime scene evidence ( e. g. blood stain, weapon, cans, bottles, glasses, cigarette butt, personal items etc. ) with DNA extracted from the blood of a suspect or accused. In case of sexual assault, the DNA extracted from the semen sample recovered from the victim is compared with the DNA sample taken from the suspect.

6. What are the usage of DNA technology in criminal investigation?

DNA technology has made it possible to identify individuals from traces of biological samples. This can resolve disputes over paternity/maternity, identification of rapist/murdered, disaster victims, mutilated bodies, missing child, exchange of babies in hospital wards etc. This remarkable technology provides exclusion as well as positive identification with virtually 100% precision.

7. Is there any chance of DNA profile being the same among the individuals related or unrelated?

No. DNA profile of an individual is unique. It can never be the same even in biologically related individuals except for identical (monozygotic) twins.

8. Can DNA analysis result vary from laboratory to laboratory ?

No. DNA typing based on microsatelite sequences or STR repeats has been thoroughly optimized worldwide. If same set of markers are used, the outcome of the DNA analysis would be the same, done anywhere in the world.

9. Does NFDPL accept private cases?

No. Only cases referred by law enforcement agencies or a court of law are accepted at NFDPL for DNA analysis.

10. How does NFDPL accept cases?

Cases should be either forwarded by Hon'ble Court / Police Officer of the rank of Inspector of Police or above.

11. What are the charges of DNA test?

Taka 5,000 for each sample analyzed. If a case for example, involves three samples, the total cost would be taka 15,000.

12. What is the mode of payment of charges?

Through crossed cheque, bank draft or cash in favour of Head, National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory, Dhaka Medical College.

13. Who should pay the charges?

The requesting authority should arrange the charge for DNA analysis, not the individuals.

14. Does NFDPL accept cases to establish biological relationship for kidney transplantation purposes, being forwarded by hospital authorities?

No. NFDPL does not accept cases to establish biological relationship for kidney transplantation purposes, being forwarded by hospital authorities. Because, this lab does not perform this kind of analysis.

15. How long does it take for the analysis and submission of the reports?

Samples will be analyzed on priority basis. With the present work load at NFDPL, reports for establishing paternity/ maternity/biological relationship could take 7-15 days or more and rape/identity may be 30 days or more.

16. Does NFDPL provides a report to the individuals?

No. The report is submitted to the forwarding authority in a sealed cover.

17. Will bone marrow transplant affect the test results?

Yes. Because, white blood cells are made in bone marrow. Blood collected from individuals who have had a bone marrow transplant may reflect the DNA profile of the bone marrow donor, rather than the recipient. Therefore, testing of transplant recipients should be done using specimens other than blood, such as buccal swabs.

18. How old does the child have to be ?

There is no minimum age required for children to be tested.

19. Can testing be done before the child is born ?

Yes. Pre-natal specimens (e.g. amniotic fluid or chorinic villus sample) can be collected for DNA analysis before birth. However, these procedures are not risk-free and should be collected by trained physicians under the guidance of an ultrasound device.

20. Will diet or medications affect the test results?

No. DNA tests are not affected by food, drink or medications. There is no need to abstain from eating or drinking prior to appointments.

21. If there are any related questions where can I get the answers?

Please send your queries if any, bye-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it addressing to Head, NFDPL, Dhaka Medical College.

22. What happens at the time and place of collection?

Each person tested (or their legal guardian) completes and signs an identification-consent form. Police/investigating officer must bring a valid photo 10 and any relevant legal documents (court order, custody documents etc.) Tested parties are photographed and fingerprinted, and specimens (blood or buccal swabs) are collected. Specimen containers are labeled in the presence of each person and signed by the police officer and forensic doctors.

23. What is the contact address of NFDPL ?

National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory
Neuclear Medicine Building , Dhaka Medical College Campus, Dhaka-1000
Tel: 9611263,01713366636
Fax: 880-2-9611263,
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website : www.mspvaw.gov.bd