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Increasing Efficiency Through Restructuring the Processing of Known Standards

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2011
56 pages
This report describes the procedures and outcomes of a project intended to increase the efficiency of the Kansas City Police Crime Laboratory's extraction and analysis method for the processing of known DNA standards.
The new method of processing DNA samples also involved changes in section workflow so that known standards were batched separately for processing by technicians, which allowed analysts to devote more time to casework samples. The segregation of standards for processing by technicians, along with limited use of automation resulted in increases in output and a decrease in section backlog. Substantial increases in standard and sample output, along with decreases in reporting turnaround should be expected once the full capabilities of this efficiency effort are realized through full-scale automation and expert system analysis. The first implementation phase consisted of the validation of the manual techniques that used the Zygem Corporation's Forensic GEM saliva and blood card extraction methods. This technique yielded immediate benefits due to the rapid processing and the detection of a genetic profile in as little as 1 day, compared to the previous process that involved a 2-day organic extraction followed by profile development. Subsequent to casework implementation and the collection of additional data, the quantitation step was also eliminated, providing an additional increase in efficiency. The second phase of implementation consisted of the automation of the extraction of the standards using the Biomek 3000. The only manual input required was sample preparation and reagent master mix preparation. The automated format plus detection on a 3130 has the potential to develop 87 standard genetic profiles in less than 15 hours. The final phase of implementation consisted of the validation of an expert system for analysis that eliminates the need for an additional analyst review and helping to counterbalance the additional output of standards. Appended methodological details

Date Published: August 1, 2011