Legal Hurdles Threaten to Slow FBI's 'Rapid DNA' RevolutionSep 20, 2012
By Ellen Messmer
It's history being made — the FBI just this month took acceptance of its first-ever "Rapid DNA" equipment for near-instant DNA analysis in the field. But use of this DNA analysis-in-a-box, which can be carried around and connected to the Internet, may be slowed because current law never envisioned such analysis being done for law-enforcement purposes outside an accredited lab.
That realization, brought to light at the Biometric Consortium Conference, cast a shadow on what's a shining moment for the biometrics industry and its partnership with the FBI. The FBI has spent years working to build Rapid DNA equipment according to careful designs for ruggedness, security and usefulness in generating individual DNA profile data that police stations could use to share and match against the FBI's existing DNA Index System (NDIS) database. Such Rapid DNA gear can take in a cotton swab of an individual's saliva or blood in the field and within about 90 minutes, automatically spit out a human DNA profile.
Dr. Thomas Callaghan , senior biometric scientist in the biometric analysis section of the FBI Laboratory, just this month took delivery on the first two working models of Rapid DNA machines, the RapidHit 200 made by integenX, and the ANDE box made by NetBio. "It really is a remarkable achievement," says Callaghan. He and many others in the biometrics field at the conference recognized the historic significance of the technology breakthrough presented by the first commercially-viable equipment for Rapid DNA.
Source: Network World