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Forensic DNA Extraction

DNA analysis is a cornerstone component of modern forensic science. The United States Department of Justice defines forensic science as a “critical element of the criminal justice system.” In recent years, the power of DNA has been harnessed to generate profiles that are used to identify criminals and victims, as well as solve crimes.

DNA analysis is a cornerstone component of modern forensic science.

DNA analysis is the most sensitive and specific method for identifying individuals, solving crimes, identifying missing persons, confirming paternity and has been used in forensics since 1985 when Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester developed genetic fingerprinting.

One of the most challenging factors in forensic DNA testing is the presence of inhibitors in biological evidence.

One of the most challenging factors in forensic DNA is the presence of inhibitors in biological evidence. They are a common and complex problem that can be found in any biological evidence matrix. Inhibitors are chemicals that can influence the extraction, amplification and detection steps during the process of DNA testing. Some examples of inhibitors include hemin which can inhibit the amplification of blood; Bacteria found in vaginal, fecal and buccal samples can inhibit PCR; melanin in hair samples is another PCR inhibitor as is urea in urine samples.

Inhibitors are classified by their ability to bind with DNA during extraction or the amplification process. They can be either exogenous (coming from outside) or endogenous (created inside). There are many substances that can cause inhibition including proteins produced by bacteria/fungi present on the surface of cells; environmental factors like metal ions; enzymes released from dead cells; detergents used during processing steps such as cleaning glassware and solvents used for dissolving tissues into solutions for extraction procedures such as phenol-chloroform solutions.

Environmental factors that were present at the crime scene where physical evidence was collected can affect DNA analysis.

It’s important to note that whilst there are many potential sources of inhibitors that can affect DNA analysis, we should also consider environmental factors present at the crime scene where physical evidence was collected. Environmental contamination can occur during collection of evidence, in transport to a laboratory for analysis, or within the laboratory itself. Environmental contaminants include dust and other particulates; other chemicals and materials (e.g., detergents); and bacterial or fungal growths.

When it comes to forensic DNA testing, sample collection is half the battle.

DNA analysis can be a powerful tool in forensics and law enforcement. One of the most important aspects of sample collection is the need for high quality samples. The best way to ensure this is through proper sample collection at the scene of the crime (or other location).

Another critical element of DNA extraction is ensuring that you collect enough information from your sample before extracting the DNA itself. This means collecting samples from different areas on an object or person, if possible, which allows for more comparisons later down the road as well as increases in accuracy when comparing results against a database.

When it comes to extracting high quality DNA from biological samples for downstream analysis, there are many options available.

When it comes to extracting high quality DNA from biological samples for downstream analysis, there are many options available.  High sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility are key considerations when choosing a system as they can all impact your ability to obtain clear results from the evidence that you are testing. Here is one of our favorite choices:

  • The TANBead Forensics DNA Extraction Kit provides high-quality DNA extraction from sample types such as blood stains, dried blood spots, chewing gum, cigarette butts, semen stains, hair, nail, and more.

Conclusion

Forensic science has evolved, and technology has certainly improved, allowing scientists to detect more information from DNA samples than ever before.

If you’re interested in Forensic DNA Kits and extraction systems, we are more than happy to help so please get in touch with us.

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