UPDATE Re: How to Take an AncestryDNA Test Without Saliva

As some of you may have seen in a previous blog, I recently devised a method to obtain a saliva sample for DNA testing without using actual saliva. (For full instructions, see my blog post: How to do an AncestryDNA test WITHOUT spit) This method has been questioned by many in genetic genealogy circles, however, I have yet to be made aware of it failing. This method has been successfully used with AncestryDNA as well as 23andme.

I originally developed this method in December 2016 after my daughter refused to spit in the vial without immediately gulping it down right after. Geesh… three-year-olds these days… While begging and pleading with someone who can barely count, I started brainstorming how I could possibly get DNA without spit for this test. I knew it was a frequent problem in some of my DNA circles, especially among elderly people. I thought that maybe my three-year-old could be an important part of figuring out how to obtain a sample. Perhaps this experiment could help other people obtain valuable data that they may not have been able to otherwise. So I jumped in feet first and did my best using what I knew already and what I researched after. I was on pins and needles and kept the whole thing hush-hush until I knew if it worked.

Sure enough, her results came back perfect. At that point, I decided to do another test to demonstrate my method for others to replicate. Jacob was my (super adorable) model and volunteer. Sure enough, just like his cousin’s results, his results came in perfect and exactly as we expected them to.

Additionally, a woman commented on my previous blog that she tried my method with a 23andme kit (and her own mouth) and the results came back correctly, showing her second kit as an identical twin to her first kit!

HELP ME OUT!

Now, here’s where I need help. If you used my method, PLEASE comment here on my blog or on my youtube videos and let me know what the outcome was. So far, I am 2 for 2 in the tests I have done using artificial saliva, but that’s not a very large sample size. If you’ve attempted my method, let me know! I’d love to be able to keep track of successes!

So far, the running tally for my method is;

Ancestry: 2/2

23andme: 1/1

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15 thoughts on “UPDATE Re: How to Take an AncestryDNA Test Without Saliva

  1. Lauren McGuire says:

    Sammi – I love this method and I think you’re brilliant!!!!!! I would like to ask you a question about it though – My sister and I have just extracted DNA from a tumor biopsy that was done on our mother in 2007. The DNA extraction looks good and we want to put some in a spit tube and run it through 23andme and ancestry. We have no idea how much of the DNA to use and ancestry has not been helpful thus far. How did you determine that you needed 8 swabs for your test kit and do you have any idea how many ug’s were required? At this point the DNA is in teeny tiny vials of liquid.

    If you send me your email address, I’ll send you a summary of the DNA extracted from the tumor.

    Hope you’re well,
    Lauren McGuire

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  2. Michael says:

    I haven’t tried it yet but I have all the supplies and will be trying it at Ancestry with my sister who can’t do the spitting. We’ll let you know how it goes! It makes great sense to me. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  3. Laurie Scott says:

    I would love to know your secret as we are testing my just barely two year old grand daughter with Ancestry.

    Thank you,
    Laurie

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  4. Samantha says:

    Absolutely! I hope it helps! Please come back and let me know what happens!

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  5. Kath says:

    Where do you get artificial saliva? And what do you mix with it to get a persons dna

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  6. Samantha says:

    Kath, please check out my blog post “How to do an AncestryDNA test without spit” This post will give you step by step instructions on how to make your artificial saliva solution, and how to obtain your DNA sample, all with materials you can find in most supermarkets! You can find the post here:

    http://anotherteenmom.com/reviews/?p=1375

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  7. pat gatley says:

    ok how do you do it.. i see no where to place a cr edit card number so whats the deal..? i tried to read the whole thing but its so dim it was mostly impossible.. i found no instructions none at all..

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  8. Samantha says:

    Are you asking how to order a kit?

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  9. Robert Norton says:

    Got the results from AncestryDNA tonight for our 5 year old grand daughter using your “without saliva” method. All is good. Worked fine. I read your post and watched the youtube video. Simple process. I wasn’t sure where to get a syringe, but daughter had a 5 ml one that came in an assortment of baby supplies. It’s designed to measure medicine and squirt it into an infant’s or toddler’s mouth.
    Thank-you very much.
    Rob

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  10. Elana M Kahn says:

    I just tried this with a 23&me test today. I will let you know how it turns out! FINGERS CROSSED! Her first test (which I had her spit) was a fail, so I’m hoping this method works.

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  11. Samantha says:

    Woohoo! Please let me know how it goes and what your results are when you are done! We have had a couple people report success with 234andme (but no one has reported any failure).

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  12. Samantha says:

    Yes! That type of syringe is what I used as well! Easy to dispense, measure and control!

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  13. Elana M Kahn says:

    It worked!!!!! We just got back the results from my daughter’s 23&me test, and it all looks perfect. THANK YOU!!! I knew there was no way I could make her spit again, especially when the first test failed. You’re a life saver. <3

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  14. WJ says:

    Yes, this worked (@ 23andme). Bless you!

    This test was for Mom, who was almost 94 and in end-stage dementia. Even when she was much healtier, being able to come up with any spit had stopped a couple of years earlier (though before we discovered and treated her ulcers, she used to spit like a schoolboy).

    A clean coffee cup is a good place to hold the tube while running back and forth between and .

    The collection required two people, as Mom (who was still quite strong) was no more cooperative than your toddler. In the case of the elderly, add pants-changing, bed-bathing, brushing of teeth, and Foley-cathing to your “vaccinations, shots, blood draws, and heel pricks” list.

    Mom had had nothing to eat for over 17 hrs and only ~6 oz water (the last sip being ~30 min before the collection), as she slept most of the time and was beginning to refuse most food and liquid.

    The overfill of the tube was probably more like 6 or 7 mm … and I didn’t notice the note about wetting the ProxaBrushes first for the elderly (perhaps this could get moved up with the main instructions). Anyway, that’s my bad.

    I think I swabbed for ~10 sec each, but didn’t want to push it, for fear of hurting Mom with the ends of the wire brushs. I was kind of afraid more swabbing would only increase the irritation.

    Our ProxaBrushes came in a bonus pack (the normal 8, plus 2 free), and I used them all. I stirred them a lot. The result was just a little cloudy, but I wouldn’t’ve called it “thick and slimy”. There was some trepidation here that the “fake spit” would be too diluteand that two packs of ProxaBrushes’d’ve been a better choice for Mom, for whom “won’t spit” was compounded by “can’t spit”.

    I forgot to notice the fill level at the conclusion of the brush dippings/stirrings (my bad, again). After the stabilizer was mixed, the overfill (after the bubbles died down) was ~12 or 13 mm.

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