We were formed in April 2000 and here we are, 20 years later! We began with a vision to truly take DNA testing to the general public (controversial at the time – it may not seem like it now) and developed our first brand, dadcheck.com for paternity testing. We have since continued to bring forward new DNA testing services and now work in areas as diverse as clinical trials and non-human species identification. You can see the brands we have developed on the Our Brands page and we would like to highlight a few areas of our business which you might find of interest.
Families and law
We began by offering paternity testing to the general public over the internet in 2002 and shortly afterwards we obtained the prestigious UKAS accreditation BS EN ISO 17025 for testing and calibration laboratories. This enabled us to be accredited by the Ministry of Justice as “a body that may carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts of England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969” and hence carry out work for the legal profession and social services. We have since processed thousands of cases for paternity and other biological relationships.
To cater for different market segments, we separated dadcheck into dadcheckgold and dadchecksilver, the former for professionals and the latter for the general public to access both personal information and accredited (suitable for legal purposes) DNA tests.
As time progressed, an increasing number of callers were heard to say “Are you that DNA company?” and hence thatDNAcompany was born – a no frills personal information testing service for paternity.
The pharmacogenetics push
Next to take shape was our molecular services division, geneblitz.com. We developed considerable expertise in genotyping, primarily for clinical trials (18 years of pharmacogenetics associated with drug metabolism). We have since expanded significantly into Next Generation Sequencing, biomarker assay development and validation. Our labs have also expanded and in 2015 we moved to our own premises in Lanchester Co. Durham. Here we have converted an 1850’s sandstone manor house into a state of the art molecular biology lab called the Durham Genome Centre.
Our rural idyll fortuitously led us to the sexing of peregrine falcons and so our flagship animal testing service, chxout.com was formed. From a busy “bird” season every year we also now conduct DNA tests for bats, beavers, plants and a host of other creatures. This is as well as getting involved in wildlife projects that really interest us – mapping individual otters in our local river by DNA profiling their poo being one of them!
Making a difference
We have all been diverted by coronavirus and we are determined to do our bit, so we have set up a testing service to help our local community get back on its feet and to help protect asymptomatic local front line workers. You can find this service on our dedicated Covid-19 testing page.
There is plenty more to come however, so just watch this space!
Chief executive officer