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How to take a test sample

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The test kit consists of two swab kits which are designed for a single persons use.  Each tube contains a fluid designed to arrest bacteria growth, so you can scrape your cheek and return your kit in any type of weather (hot or cold).  The freshness of your sample will remain intact for months.

The prior collection standard of the industry was the dry preservation method, which worked without the fluid, but in humid climates, was prone to bacteria growth on the scraper tip.  FTDNA enjoys an international clientele; therefore, we have chosen to use a universal collection kit.

You will notice the cotton 'toothed' tip at the end of the scraper. The sensation of using our scraper is like brushing your inside cheek with your toothbrush.  Remember, a good scrape produces lots of DNA, which makes the extraction process easier and decreases the chance that one or more of your markers will fail to be readable on the first test of your sample.

Your kit also includes instructions for collecting your DNA sample and the all important Release Form.  The Release Form is your written consent that allows FTDNA to share your name and email address with someone who matches your genetic fingerprint exactly.

These matches are called "Genetic Cousins", and they represent one of the most exciting parts of the Family Tree DNA system!