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Edson S.M.,Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory | Christensen A.F.,POW Inc
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2013

The Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory reports the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of over 800 skeletal samples a year for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command-Central Identification Laboratory. These sequences are generated from degraded skeletal remains that are presumed to belong to U.S. service members missing from past military conflicts. In the laboratory, it is possible to control for contamination of remains; however, in the field, it can be difficult to prevent modern DNA from being transferred to skeletal elements and being carried forward through the analysis process. Four such cases are described here along with the controls in place in the laboratory to eliminate the possibility of the exogenous DNA being reported as authentic. In each case, the controls implemented by the laboratories prevented the false reporting of contaminant exogenous DNA from remains that were either faunal or human, but lacked endogenous DNA. © 2012.

Hebda L.M.,Michigan State University | Hebda L.M.,Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory | Foran D.R.,Michigan State University
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2015

DNA identification of human remains is often necessary when decedents are skeletonized; however, poor DNA recovery and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) inhibition are frequently encountered, a situation exacerbated by burial. In this research, the utility of integrating soil DNA isolation kits into buried skeletal DNA analysis was evaluated and compared to a standard human DNA extraction kit and organic extraction. The soil kits successfully extracted skeletal DNA at quantities similar to standard methods, although the two kits tested, which differ mechanistically, were not equivalent. Further, the PCR inhibitors calcium and humic acid were effectively removed using the soil kits, whereas collagen was less so. Finally, concordant control region sequences were obtained from human skeletal remains using all four methods. Based on these comparisons, soil DNA isolation kits, which quickened the extraction process, proved to be a viable extraction technique for skeletal remains that resulted in positive identification of a decedent. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Just R.S.,Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory | Irwin J.A.,FBI Laboratory | Parson W.,Innsbruck Medical University | Parson W.,Pennsylvania State University
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2015

Abstract Long an important and useful tool in forensic genetic investigations, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) typing continues to mature. Research in the last few years has demonstrated both that data from the entire molecule will have practical benefits in forensic DNA casework, and that massively parallel sequencing (MPS) methods will make full mitochondrial genome (mtGenome) sequencing of forensic specimens feasible and cost-effective. A spate of recent studies has employed these new technologies to assess intraindividual mtDNA variation. However, in several instances, contamination and other sources of mixed mtDNA data have been erroneously identified as heteroplasmy. Well vetted mtGenome datasets based on both Sanger and MPS sequences have found authentic point heteroplasmy in approximately 25% of individuals when minor component detection thresholds are in the range of 10-20%, along with positional distribution patterns in the coding region that differ from patterns of point heteroplasmy in the well-studied control region. A few recent studies that examined very low-level heteroplasmy are concordant with these observations when the data are examined at a common level of resolution. In this review we provide an overview of considerations related to the use of MPS technologies to detect mtDNA heteroplasmy. In addition, we examine published reports on point heteroplasmy to characterize features of the data that will assist in the evaluation of future mtGenome data developed by any typing method. © 2015 The Authors.

Tillmar A.O.,National Board of Forensic Medicine | Coble M.D.,Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory | Wallerstrom T.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Holmlund G.,National Board of Forensic Medicine
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010

In order to promote mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing in Sweden we have typed 296 Swedish males, which will serve as a Swedish mtDNA frequency database. The tested males were taken from seven geographically different regions representing the contemporary Swedish population. The complete mtDNA control region was typed and the Swedish population was shown to have high haplotype diversity with a random match probability of 0.5%. Almost 47% of the tested samples belonged to haplogroup H and further haplogroup comparison with worldwide populations clustered the Swedish mtDNA data together with other European populations. AMOVA analysis of the seven Swedish subregions displayed no significant maternal substructure in Sweden (F ST∈=∈0. 002). Our conclusion from this study is that the typed Swedish individuals serve as good representatives for a Swedish forensic mtDNA database. Some caution should, however, be taken for individuals from the northernmost part of Sweden (provinces of Norrbotten and Lapland) due to specific demographic conditions. Furthermore, our analysis of a small sample set of a Swedish Saami population confirmed earlier findings that the Swedish Saami population is an outlier among European populations. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

Loreille O.,Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory | Koshinsky H.,Eureka Genomics Corporation | Fofanov V.Y.,Eureka Genomics Corporation | Irwin J.A.,Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory
Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series | Year: 2011

Complete genome studies performed with next generation sequencing technologies are becoming more and more abundant. The potential such technologies could have for DNA identification purposes are obvious, but so far, very few forensic laboratories have tested these new instruments. We decided to evaluate the Illumina GAIIx platform for sequencing mitochondrial DNA extracted from an ancient human bone. We show that using standard Illumina protocols, we obtained a very small coverage of the mtDNA genome and observe a high error rate of 1.44%. We therefore tested various methods to improve the quality and quantity of the data. This report will describe our results when we incorporated a DNA repair and a primer extension capture step in the protocol. © 2011 .

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