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Integrated DNA Analysis Technologies

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 29 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2002 Pages: 150,152,155
Meri L. Bozzini
Date Published
October 2002
5 pages
This article describes the use of selected, short tandem repeat (STR) markers in the identification of individuals for forensic purposes.
This analysis has become a powerful tool in forensic science. It is highly informative and can yield results, even with degraded DNA, in several hours instead of several days, and requires very little DNA as starting material. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified DNA fragments can be detected with fluorescent-labeled primers. The technique is particularly successful in analyzing short, degraded strands of DNA. STR results are often used to compare against genetic profiles curated in missing persons’ databases. Due to its high sensitivity and quick analysis time, fluorescent-labeled STR analysis has become the “gold standard” for forensic identification worldwide. National and international STR databases containing genetic profiles of convicted offenders have been established. DNA profiles can be submitted to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for comparison of both convicted offender profiles and profiles from other forensic case samples. The evolution of kits for performing STR-based genetic analysis has led to increased accuracy. The Applied Biosystems AmpFlSTR Identifiler PCR Amplification Kit is accepted for DNA databasing of forensic samples by the National DNA Index System (NDIS). It is consistent with standards set worldwide and validated for use with samples to be uploaded to CODIS. The Identifier kit uses a five-dye fluorescent system for automated DNA fragment analysis. It also includes the Amerlogenin gender-determining marker. If an Identifiler kit-generated profile matches an archived profile, there is an exceptional level of confidence that the offender has been identified. The power of current DNA testing also allows for those that have been wrongly accused or convicted of a crime to be exonerated.