If we use the idea of a stool as a model of what is needed to support DNA analysis then there are three legs that should be equal—staff, equipment, and space.
For the last several years, the European Court of Human Rights has been considering the cases of 'S' and Marper v. the United Kingdom. On December 4, 2008, the Court issued its “Grand Chamber Judgment” considering the issue of the “retention of fingerprints, cellular samples, and DNA profiles after criminal proceedings were terminated by an acquittal."
With so many improvements across the entire forensic DNA testing workflow introduced over the last five years, forensic scientists and managers are now faced with hard choices and must implement solutions that alleviate bottlenecks most quickly.
Although laboratory automation holds the promise of increasing sample throughput, in practice this does not alleviate the burden on laboratory staff. Rather it shifts the focus of the analyst’s efforts from sample preparation to sample analysis.
The advent of forensic DNA testing has had a radical and widespread impact on legal-judicial systems. The exact nature of this impact varies from nation to nation, depending on the specific needs of the nation, the existing legal-judicial system, and how DNA technology has been applied.
Finally, an independent and respected research institution has substantively proven it. The investment in DNA technology to solve volume crime makes tremendous sense.
As Sean Carroll’s latest book opens, another hapless victim is exonerated by a dazzling display of DNA’s evidentiary power in America’s legal system.
For all of its benefits and positive impact, DNA and forensic science in general has been woefully underutilized in an area where it could be most powerful—the commission of mass rape and sexual assault as a weapon of war and suppression.
To point out the obvious—the application of DNA technology to postconviction appeals has compelled more than a few changes to the U.S. criminal justice system.
Improved Workflow for Analyzing Sexual Assault Evidence
For this article, five forensic experts have come together to answer three commonly asked questions involving DNA and forensic facility design.
In 2002, I was living in London, England, when a scandal hit the front page of every major newspaper. It was a problem so significant and a scenario so unacceptable that the British Home Office called for immediate action and remediation. The scandal?
The introduction of DNA technology into the forensic laboratory in the mid-1980s enabled laboratories to process a larger array of sample types and utilize more sophisticated tools to help answer difficult questions inherent in forensic casework.Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) methods were supplemented by hybridization-based technologies such as the DQA1/Polymarker kits, which became the first commercially available DNA typing kits for forensic use.
While conventional STR DNA analysis has been highly publicized over the past decade and used to aid countless criminal investigations, a newer technology known as Y-STR analysis is now being implemented in many laboratories.
Multiplex STR analysis has long been accepted as the gold standard in the field of human identification. This method is highly informative, allowing DNA identification to be made with a high degree of accuracy.
Exciting developments are on the horizon that will increase sample throughput at a lower cost while requiring fewer personnel resources.
While there have been many jokes within the scientific community about the markers that might be present on the Y chromosome – propensity for the air guitar, total lack of recall for dates, incessant use of the TV remote, and inability to ask for directions – it is this very “maleness” that makes the Y chromosome extremely useful in forensic DNA analysis.
How a small town murder investigation stimulated science on the forensic frontier.
The phone in the office rang. The caller, Sergeant Paul Dostie of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, asked if we could help identify the geographic/ethnic origins of a buried murder victim that had been recently discovered in a shallow grave in the Shady Rest campground in Mammoth Lakes, in the mountains of Southern California.
MiniSTR technology expected to solve more crimes through identification of highly-degraded DNA samples
The DNA Detectives examines the first time that DNA profiling was used in a criminal case which was in England and then goes into the first time that DNA profiling was used in the United States.
Automated DNA extraction from samples eases the burden on forensic laboratories and results in more consistent processing. A number of kits specifically developed for use with these extraction techniques are expected to drastically reduce the turnaround time for forensic cases.
With their growing ubiquity in the courtroom, biological evidence and DNA analysis are playing an increasingly important role in proving guilt or innocence.
Increasingly sophisticated anyalytical tools and methods are being employed to detect and discriminate evidence.
Developing a system to process over 200,000 samples per year.