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Health

The Tell-Tale Underwear: Genetics Co. Finds Out Who's Been Cheating

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaJune 4, 2010 12:59 AM
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Worried your man is cheating? Don't rely on hunches, send his undies to the lab. Some suspicious people are paying upwards of $500 to air their dirty laundry, and a DNA-testing company is happily testing suspected spouses' condoms, sheets, and tighty whities for genetic signs of infidelity. Chromosomal Laboratories Inc., the same company that has offered paternal-testing giveaways on Father's Day, is now in the unmentionables business. The company offers a smorgasbord of tests starting with a UV-light sweep and going as far as a microscopic search for sperm heads. On the version of the company's website designed for suspicious men, the biological sleuths describe a test for Prostate Specific Antigen and boast: "The technique is extremely powerful because it can confirm the presence of semen even in samples from sterile or vasectomized men." An order sheet (pdf), which "should not come in contact with any of the samples," allows concerned lovers to mark the quantity of saliva, sperm, or DNA tests that the lab should perform. A similar site exists for women testing their husbands' or boyfriends' garments since the company can also screen for vaginal fluid, and a simple cheek swab can rule out the concerned partner's own DNA that might contaminate the "sample." The Phoenix New Times broke the story, interviewing Melissa Beddow, an analyst for the company:

Beddow says stealing someone's underwear and testing it for DNA isn't an invasion of privacy because the tests aren't used in court--although, in some cases, like divorce proceedings, Chromosomal Laboratory's results can be admitted into evidence.

Related content: Discoblog: Scientists Examine Underwear Astronaut Wore for a Month Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Impact of wet underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort in the cold. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Study proves cheating good for marriage. DISCOVER: Einstein's Theory of Fidelity DISCOVER: The Mating Game's Biggest Cheaters (photo gallery)

Image: flickr / Egan Snow

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