With DNA, the ability to find out a lot more with a lot less has increased our ability for identification - Patricia Cornwell
Life can be unpredictable, chaotic, and messy and often seems to surge onward without direction, dragging all of us along in its wake.
At some point, we’ve all felt like we have no control over our own destiny and that we’re subject to the vagaries of providence and the everyday changes that are beyond our sphere of influence.
Feeling as though you’ve been cast adrift, like a sailor lost on the seas of fate is an all too common part of the human condition.
We’ve been searching for an answer to the divisive nature of the patternless conundrum since time began, looking for any advantage that we can use to loosen the ever-tightening grip of the disorder that walks hand in hand with it.
It was, until recently, a fruitless quest that seemed to have no end in sight.
Then science provided the hope that we sorely needed to increase the chances of being able to find some sort of realistic balance.
That hope arrived in the form of DNA testing, which opened a window, that had previously been shuttered up and closed, into our souls and offered us all an opportunity to understand ourselves and our history in a way that we’d never been able to before.
It provided us with the ammunition that we need to face the randomness of life, because the more we know about who we are, the better prepared we can be to face whatever challenges we are presented with and navigate our way to success through the turbulent waters we were previously adrift on.
DNA testing is one of the many freely available wonders of the modern age. It’s been a blessing for the vast majority of us, as well as a curse for the criminal minority, but at no point in our history have we ever been granted the level of individual understanding that DNA testing offers us.
It’s a doorway to our distant past, gives us a chance to ward off the diseases that we might fall prey to before they strike, allows us to locate and trace family members that we never knew we had, and find out where we originally came from.
And it’s also helped to lock a satisfying number of ne’er do wells behind bars. In order to discover those insights and find the sort of control you’ve been desperately looking for, you need to get a DNA test, and the only way to get one is with a DNA testing company.
And one of the most trusted and valued DNA testing companies in the world is AlphaBiolabs.
Who Are AlphaBiolabs?
Founded in 2004, in their relatively brief existence, AlphaBiolabs has become one of the United Kingdom’s leading DNA testing companies.
With a number of testing facilities and a national collection service, AlphaBiolabs is fully accredited by the UK Ministry of Justice to carry out legally binding DNA testing.
They’ve also been awarded a Queen’s Award for Innovation for their incredibly efficient and accurate testing, the results of which are often available the next working day.
They pride themselves on doing all of their testing in-house at their purpose-built laboratories which ensure that they can devote all of their available time to doing what you need them to, and providing the results that you want them too, faster than any other accredited DNA testing companies in the world can.
That doesn’t mean that they sacrifice excellence for speed, or that their tests aren’t as accurate as other DNA testing firms, they are, AlphaBiolabs work to the same stringent testing standards as every other certified DNA testing firm does, ISO 9001, which guarantees that their staff is technically qualified to carry out all of the testing that they offer in a controlled, sterile and safe laboratory environment.
Favored by the legal profession, AlphaBiolabs also provide a number of different legally binding tests that are subject to the strictest monitoring conditions.
If a test is going to hold up in a court of law, it has to be subject to all manner of different controls, which AlphaBiolabs happily, and readily acquiesce to.
They are, for all intents and purposes, an open book who are more than content to answer any questions that their prospective clients might have about any, and all aspects of the services that they provide.
While all of their accreditation is incredibly impressive, the things that initially drew us to AlphaBiolabs was their courteous and informative customer support team who were readily available and on hand to answer any, and all, of the questions that we had about the testing process.
Informative, enlightening, and friendly, their staff explained, in layman’s terms, what every stage of testing involved and how to submit our samples.
It was their staff and the way they dealt with our concerns about security, privacy, and the way that our samples would be handled and stored once they were received that convinced us that AlphaBiolabs were a testing firm that we could trust.
The truth is, we weren’t exactly one hundred percent honest with the client support advisor from AlphaBiolabs that we spoke to.
We feigned ignorance in order to test their level of knowledge about the testing process and the systems that AlphaBiolabs use to test their samples.
The fact of the matter is, we’ve had our DBA tested a number of times, and the best way that we’ve found to assess a company’s ability to live up to their promises is by using the same service that they all offer; an Ancestry Origins kit.
Having decided to try AlphaBiolabs service, we ordered their Ancestry Origins kit and waited for it to arrive. When it did, and we opened it we were gratified and more than a little relieved to see that it mirrored the standard testing kit that the majority of testing firms use.
Most are variations on the same swab testing theme and the AlphaBiolabs kit was no different. Consisting of a sterile swab, the instructions on how to use a said swab, a sterile container to seal it, and a pre-paid envelope to send it to AlphaBiolabs with.
After examining the contents of the kit, we followed the standard procedure and used the swab to take an oral sample of DNA.
This involves putting the swab in your mouth, and lightly rubbing it against the inside of your cheek, while continually rotating the swab in your fingers to ensure that it collects a sufficient amount of saliva that can be used to extract your, or in this case our, DNA from.
As with most Ancestry Tests, AlphaBiolabs test won’t identify your specific race, but it does provide a breakdown of your genetic history and ancestry by comparing your sample against four population groups, which are widely regarded as being the founding branches of humanity, namely African, East Asian, European and Indigenous American.
By identifying the percentage of your DNA that can be attributed to each of the four groups, they can put together an accurate history of your ancestral origin and history. It’s clever, effective, and efficient, and accurate, and a testing method that we wholeheartedly endorse and believe in.
The AlphaBiolabs Way
Then, things get a little different and the AlphaBiolabs way of doing things veers slightly off tangent.
Being well aware of how sensitive a subject DNA testing is, as well as providing you with everything that you’ll need to send your sample to them using the postal system, they also have a number of UK based call-in centers that you can use to drop your sample off at so that it be collected by an AlphaBiolabs courier and taken straight to one of their testing laboratories.
An additional security measure that helps to alleviate their client’s concerns about the safety and security of the postal system, it was reassuring and pleasing to know that the company takes its service, and the concerns of their clients, seriously enough to make it part of their service.
Of course, we didn’t use this service for a number of different reasons, the primary one being that if we wanted to compare the service that AlphaBiolabs provides with other testing companies we had to do so at every level.
So we returned our sample by post and began the long wait for our results. We know, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “What happened to the whole fastest results in the world thing?” and we were too.
We hadn’t given it much thought and had assumed that their fastest test results in the world claim applied to all of the tests and results that AlphaBiolabs supply. It doesn’t.
It turns out that the only test that AlphaBiolabs confidently turn around and provide the results in twenty-four hours is their paternity test.
In actuality, our test results took five weeks to arrive by email. That was way longer than we thought they’d take and if we’re honest, we were a little disappointed.
However, we should point out that our disappointment was probably more our fault than AlphaBiolabs, and if we’d bothered to read the small print on the kits instructions, and the big, bold warning on the web-page that we ordered the kit from instead of just clicking buy, we’d have seen that they do actually state that the test results take between five and six weeks to arrive.
Given that ours took five, we were on the faster end of the results spectrum.
As for the results themselves, as we were promised they were straightforward and simple enough to read and understand.
They were also unfailingly accurate and didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know thanks to the succession of DNA test results that we’ve already had done.
They were spot on historically and ancestrally, and the amount of care and attention that went into presenting them in a simple to follow manner went some way to helping to alleviate the boredom and frustration that had built up while we were waiting for them to arrive.
The comprehensive service that AlpaBiolbad offers isn’t cheap though and while they’re not the expensive DNA testing option available, they’re not the most affordable either.
They dwell somewhere in the middle, but as long as you budget accordingly, you’ll be fine.
And, unlike some other well known and established testing firms, the price that AlphaBiolabs charge is all-inclusive and covers every aspect of their staggeringly comprehensive and thorough service. We just wish it hadn’t taken them so long to get our results back to us.
The Legal Stuff And Other Tests
As we’ve already mentioned, AlphaBiolabs seems to one of the British legal systems’ most trusted partners and they offer a number of different testing kits, that have evolved from that side of their business.
These range from a series of alcohol and drug-related testing kits for companies to use in an effort to make sure that their employees follow, and abide by their employment regulations, to the fastest testing kit in the world.
AlphaBiolabs claim to DNA testing fame is their paternity kit. With next day and same-day options for results, they seem to have transcended some sort of record-breaking boundary, and if you’re at all concerned about the parentage of your child, or even your own parentage, this is probably the fastest and most effective way of answering your concerns.
It identifies and uses thirty-five different DNA markers from both parties (father and child) that can be compared to provide a definitive answer to who the daddy is, or isn’t.
Even though they stand behind its effectiveness and accuracy, AlphaBiolabs is keen to stress that this isn’t a legally binding kit and should be used for peace of mind purposes only.
If we were inclined to be suspicious we’d think that would tend to suggest that there is a possibility that this kit might not be quite as accurate as you’d like it to be and that there is some legal wiggle room in its results.
The AlphaBiolabs version of the health check, this genetic profile test is another peace of mind orientated test that’s designed to discretely alleviate any specific health worries or concerns that you might have.
One of their unique selling points for this test is that they advertise it on the basis that some previous clients have used the results to create a completely unique artwork.
Even though we can sort of understand the appeal of using it on this basis, the idea of revealing that much of ourselves to anyone is akin to being naked with all of your clothes on. Does anyone really want to willingly reveal that much of themselves to anyone else?
They do however raise a couple of very good points with this test.
As the world has an increasing number of incredibly and highly specialized jobs that need to be done in sensitive areas, it does provide a genetic passport and CV that can immediately qualify, or disqualify you for that sort of elusive and exclusive employment.
Most importantly though, it can also make you aware of any genetic risks that you face, and that could potentially be passed on to any, or all of your offspring.
Sometimes it’s better to know and understand all of the potential threats that you might have to face during your lifetime so that you can properly prepare for them and if at all possible, head them off at the pass before they become a problem.
This test, and the premise that it’s based on, can seem slightly scary and worrying but is one that we’d recommend that everyone takes.
And In Conclusion - Our Experience With AlphaBiolabs
Being tested by AlphaBiolabs was, for us at least, a mixed bag. We loved their customer service and due diligence and the respect, and empathy with which they treated our concerns, and the way they thoroughly explained the testing process from beginning to end.
And we also loved how easy it was to order their testing kit, how straightforward and simple it was to use thanks to the detailed instructions that it included.
Then there was the part of the service that we didn’t take advantage of, their walk-in drop off centers and courier service.
For the clients who are deathly worried about their DNA samples and the way they’ll be treated and handled, it’s an incredibly thoughtful way of putting their minds at rest and assuring them that AlphaBiolabs cares about them and the service that they provide.
That said, we weren’t impressed with the amount of time that it took to get our results back.
Admittedly, we should have paid more attention to the information that AlphaBiolabs provided on their website, but when the majority of DNA testing firms are capable of turning results around, and getting them back to their clients, in under fourteen days, five to six weeks seems like an unnecessarily long time to us.
Would we use AlphaBiolabs again? Knowing what we do now about the wait time, and being able to properly prepare for it, given the level of service they provide at the price point they charge we’d definitely use them again.
In fact, we’re seriously considering using them for that health check that we’ve been promising ourselves we’d get for far, far too long. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.