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Embracing Next Generation Methods for Forensic DNA Sequence Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2019
1 page
The research described in this article was funded by National Institute of Justice grant 2013-DN-BX-K010 awarded to Stanford University and is based on the final summary overview for the award, "Highly Parallel Analysis of Complex Genetic Mixtures" by Hanlee P. Ji (NCJ 253074).

Supported by a 2013 National Institute of Justice grant, this research investigated a suite of DNA artifact problems by developing a method for isolating, enriching, and sequencing Short Tandem Repeats (STRs). The research began by using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, a powerful molecular tool that allows scientists to cut DNA molecules at any location, and designing probes that align to the flanking regions of the targeted STRs. This aspect allowed the research team to cut out full STRs, attach unique molecular tags, and isolate them before sequencing. The researchers were able to sequence the STR fragments successfully without amplifying them beforehand, thus dramatically reducing the introduction of stutter artifacts. The regions of the genome relied on for identification of individuals pose challenges for analysts because they often produce artifacts during processing.

Date Published: November 1, 2019