In the Lab: Where Does Your DNA Test Sample Go?

genotyping content

So, you purchased your Orig3n DNA test and you’re waiting for your results. It’s an exciting time — though we know waiting is often the hardest part! In the meantime, you may be wondering just how we transform your DNA into your unique results. This occurs through a process called “genotyping”. Here’s the behind the microscope look at what happens to your DNA test sample once you send your swab back to our Orig3n lab.

Step 1 – Receiving Your Sample

We receive DNA test samples each day at our Boston-area laboratory from all over the world, from people just like you. Once we receive your swab, we verify that the information is correct by scanning your barcode. After that, we assign your sample to Marvin, our handsome, DNA-decoding robot (you may have heard from him already if you’ve purchased a DNA test – he’s super friendly and loves to chat).

Did you know? Your DNA is yours, and yours alone. We’ll never share or sell your genetic information for any reason.

DNA test process

Step 2 – Processing Your Sample

Once we’ve verified your information, we release the cells from your sample swab. Then, like an egg, we crack those cells open to release all of the DNA inside. To break open those cells, we use a few things: Heat + Time + Stirring. Pretty cool, right?

Did you know? All DNA tests are processed in Orig3n’s CLIA-certified DNA lab.

Step 3 – Extracting Your DNA

Now that we’ve opened the cells, it’s time to extract your DNA. To do this, Marvin uses super-strong magnetic beads that bind to your DNA, so we separate it from everything else in your cells. Then we wash away all of the non-DNA material.

Did you know? There’s more than just DNA in your cells! There’s the plasma membrane (“skin” of the cell), cytoplasm (cell material), and ribosomes (structures where proteins are made).

Step 4 – Detecting Your DNA

After we’ve separated your DNA, we need to take a closer look at the genes we want to learn more about – based on which Orig3n DNA test(s) you’ve purchased. To do this, we use chemical reactions to create multiple copies of the specific part of your DNA we’re analyzing (a process called DNA amplification). This makes it easier for us to look at and read your genetic code, so we can determine your unique results.

 Step 5 – Decoding Your Results

Here comes the fun part! After detecting your DNA, we decode it by looking at SNPs — these are very tiny portions of your DNA that are different from one person to the next. Through these differences, we determine your gene result that is associated with a particular trait. This is what you see in your Orig3n DNA test results labeled as “adapt”, “normal”, or “gifted”.

After that, we double-check our analysis and send the results directly to you via our LifeProfile mobile app or web version so you can take a look at your own variants and see how they may affect your health and wellness.

Did you know? You can also view your Orig3n DNA test results online:

There you have it! The complete genotyping process from start to finish. You can learn more about the individual genes we test for in our Gene of the Week blog series or by viewing our DNA test on our shop page.