A: The molecular biology of DNA forensic analysis was first developed by Dr. Alec Jeffreys (now Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys) for a sexual assault case in England. The terms ‘DNA Fingerprinting’ and ‘DNA profiling’ now all refer to the same technique. Dr. Jeffreys discovered that the repeated DNA structures he was studying had the same core sequences: the variation he observed was unique to each individual. When this approach was applied on a slightly larger scale, each individual would have a unique pattern, distinguishable from all others. This forms the basis of current DNA forensic testing.
A: STRs is an acronym for Short Tandem Repeat. These are genetic elements (sequences in the DNA) that are used in forensic DNA analysis. There are other genetic elements that can be used for determining identity, but STRs are considered the most accurate and reliable method. They are the only markers IFI uses.
A: Actually no, there is no genetic, health or disease susceptibility information in DNA analysis using STRs. It only provides a STR profile that can be used, in conjunction with a database, to positively identify an individual.
A: The test requires DNA. DNA can be extracted and analyzed from blood, semen, saliva, skin scrapings, hair, bones or teeth. Even minute amounts of material can be sufficient to obtain a DNA profile.
A: To simplify a little, the methods depend on which kind of laboratory instrument is used to obtain the STR profile. All methods use PCR amplification in order to analyze STRs; IFI then uses an industry standard capillary electrophoresis instrument to analyze the results of the amplification.
A: PCR is an acronym for Polymerase Chain Reaction. This is the molecular biological technique that can amplify specific regions of DNA with great accuracy. Using this technique sufficient quantity of DNA can be produced in a few hours such that the STR profile can be determined.
A: CODIS is an acronym for Combined DNA Index System. It is a searchable database maintained by the FBI (for further information, go to the CODIS home page) that contains more than 1,000,000 DNA profiles.
A: Most DNA forensic work uses genomic DNA: the genetic material within the nucleus of the cell. Mitochondria are organelles (an intracellular compartment) that contain a small, circular genome that can also be used for genetic identification testing. The methods and analysis of mitochondrial DNA are fundamentally different from the genomic analysis: sequences. allele based, maternally inherited vs. Mendelian. Mitochondrial DNA analysis is used particularly on old or degraded samples where STR analysis is likely to fail.
CALL TODAY! 1.708.234.1200
or fill in the form below to have one of our reps contact you