DNA profiles can now sometimes be extracted from a licked stamp, used razor or hair with the root attached (not just cut hair) and even other items. These kinds of genetic samples are known as “special samples” because they require additional processing to acquire a viable profile—more processing than is typically performed on saliva or cheek swabs by the Big 5 genetic genealogy testers.
DNA testing of old postage stamps, envelope flaps, and other personal artifacts will soon become readily available to the average consumer. Now is the time to locate potential specimens, preserve items in archival storage, and plan a testing strategy.
Artifact testing promises to be an interesting component of future DNA evidence and genealogy. If we can obtain and reliably identify DNA from deceased ancestors, relatives, or other individuals, we might be able to enrich our genealogical research.
DIAHAN SOUTHARD (2019, July 18). Family Health History and DNA Testing [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.yourdnaguide.com/ydgblog/dna-hair-samples-postage-stamps