DNA Genetic Testing From Dried Sweat Crystal

Intro to DNA

DNA Is the code which is stored in our body cells. It’s made of bases called A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s. DNA serves two functions: it is what allows someone to pass down their genetic traits to their children and produce the “biological building blocks” living things.

What is Sweat Made of?

One of the most common misconceptions about sweat is that it is made of toxins from the body. Many people believe that they are “sweating out toxins” when they sweat.  The odor which is produced by sweat comes from the interaction of it and bacteria

Sweat is about 99% water. The remaining 1% is a mixture of minerals and salt. It’s main function is to regulate the body’s temperature. Because sweat is mostly water, there is zero chance that a DNA sample can be obtained from sweat. 

What contains DNA?

Every living thing contains DNA. Bacteria have DNA, and viruses have either DNA or RNA. Both the Sars-COV2 (Coronavirus) and HIV viruses are RNA-based viruses. 

RNA has the same bases as DNA except it uses Uracil in place of Thymine. DNA is tightly bound in the nucleus, acting as the “hard drive” for biological information used to make proteins.

Your body’s cells use RNA to provide the instructions for creating proteins. They travel from the nucleus of the cell and are used as a template for making new biological proteins, which are formed based on the specific letters of the RNA.

How do Genetic Tests Work

Genetic tests can take on several different forms depending on their intended use. Some genetic tests are capable of sequencing the whole genome, while other genetic tests are only sequencing parts of genomes. 

Many genetic tests are only looking at specific points along the whole genome, which can be a difference of one or more letters along the whole sequence.

What is in dried sweat crystals?

Dried sweat crystals are everything that is left behind whenever water evaporates. Skin cells are In some cases, dried sweat crystals can also contain skin cells. The top layer of skin is nothing more than dead skin cells, so it likely won’t have any DNA (1). When skin cells are left behind in dried sweat crystals, DNA is present in these dead cells.

How is genetic testing performed from dried sweat crystals

Laboratory technicians are able to extract DNA from sweat crystals by separating the skin cells from the crystals if they are present. If the skin cells are present in the sweat cells, laboratory technicians will be able to harvest these cells and extract the DNA using a chemical which is designed to remove the DNA from the skin cells directly.


DNA is in everything, and most often it gets left behind in dead skin cells and hair. While sweat crystals often leave behind dried skin cells, sometimes (not all the time, however) DNA can be extracted from these crystals which are left behind.

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