Erandio, Spain
Erandio, Spain

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Garcia O.,Forensic Science Unit | Soto A.,Forensic Science Unit | Yurrebaso I.,Forensic Science Unit
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2017

The HID-Ion AmpliSeq™ Identity Panel amplifies 90 autosomal SNPs and 34 Y- SNPs with massively parallel sequencing (MPS) using the Ion Torrent PGM™ platform. In the present study, 105 Basques were analyzed to assess this panel. All loci were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and no association between them was detected. Forensic parameters were calculated as 5.74 × 10−36 for combined match probability and 99.99998% for combined power of exclusion. In conclusion, the HID Identity panel and the use of this new MPS technology are very promising tools for paternity testing and human identification in routine casework in the forensic field. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Alves C.,University of Porto | Pereira R.,University of Porto | Prieto L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Aler M.,Institute Medicina Legal Y Ciencias Forenses Of Valencia | And 24 more authors.
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2017

DNA is a powerful tool available for forensic investigations requiring identification of species. However, it is necessary to develop and validate methods able to produce results in degraded and or low quality DNA samples with the high standards obligatory in forensic research. Here, we describe a voluntary collaborative exercise to test the recently developed Species Identification by Insertions/Deletions (SPInDel) method. The SPInDel kit allows the identification of species by the generation of numeric profiles combining the lengths of six mitochondrial ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene regions amplified in a single reaction followed by capillary electrophoresis. The exercise was organized during 2014 by a Working Commission of the Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Working Group of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (GHEP-ISFG), created in 2013. The 24 participating laboratories from 10 countries were asked to identify the species in 11 DNA samples from previous GHEP-ISFG proficiency tests using a SPInDel primer mix and control samples of the 10 target species. A computer software was also provided to the participants to assist the analyses of the results. All samples were correctly identified by 22 of the 24 laboratories, including samples with low amounts of DNA (hair shafts) and mixtures of saliva and blood. Correct species identifications were obtained in 238 of the 241 (98.8%) reported SPInDel profiles. Two laboratories were responsible for the three cases of misclassifications. The SPInDel was efficient in the identification of species in mixtures considering that only a single laboratory failed to detect a mixture in one sample. This result suggests that SPInDel is a valid method for mixture analyses without the need for DNA sequencing, with the advantage of identifying more than one species in a single reaction. The low frequency of wrong (5.0%) and missing (2.1%) alleles did not interfere with the correct species identification, which demonstrated the advantage of using a method based on the analysis of multiple loci. Overall, the SPInDel method was easily implemented by laboratories using different genotyping platforms, the interpretation of results was straightforward and the SPInDel software was used without any problems. The results of this collaborative exercise indicate that the SPInDel method can be applied successfully in forensic casework investigations. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Amorim A.,University of Porto | Crespillo M.,Instituto Nacional Of Toxicologia Y Ciencias Forenses | Luque J.A.,Instituto Nacional Of Toxicologia Y Ciencias Forenses | Prieto L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | And 6 more authors.
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2016

Communicating and interpreting genetic evidence in the administration of justice is currently a matter of great concern, due to the theoretical and technical complexity of the evaluative reporting and large difference in expertise between forensic experts and law professionals. A large number of initiatives have been taken trying to bridge this gap, contributing to the education of both parties. Results however have not been very encouraging, as most of these initiatives try to cope globally with the problem, addressing simultaneously theoretical and technical approaches which are in a quite heterogeneous state of development and validation. In consequence, the extension and complexity of the resulting documents disheartens their study by professionals (both jurists and geneticists) and makes a consensus very hard to reach even among the genetic experts’ community. Here we propose a ‘back-to-basics’, example-driven approach, in which a model report for the two most common situations faced by forensic laboratories is presented. We do hope that this strategy will provide a solid basis for a stepwise generalisation. © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


Mitrevski B.,RMIT University | Veleska B.,Forensic Science Unit | Engel E.,RMIT University | Engel E.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 3 more authors.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2011

A method for ecstasy volatiles 'signature' analysis based on two-dimensional gas chromatography separation and time-of-flight mass spectrometry detection (GC×GC-TOFMS) is presented. Organic impurity volatiles were extracted by head space solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME). The final column phase choice of the four different column combinations tested was a low-polarity 5% phenyl polysilphenylene-siloxane coupled with a polyethylene glycol phase, which best displayed the complex impurity profile. Second dimension (2D) retention time reproducibility was found to be about 1% RSD, and area reproducibility of SPME sampling was just over 5% RSD for compounds with S/N ratio of about 100.High similarity of TOFMS spectra of impurities was obtained against commercial MS libraries. 16 components from the two-dimensional profiles were selected for comparison of the 24 ecstasy tablets, most of which proved to be benzodioxole derived compounds. All tablets were correctly classified in eight groups according to their post-tabletting characteristics, when appropriate data pre-treatment was applied.Principal component analysis revealed clustering of samples according to the country of origin. Samples from Macedonia were elevated in N-formyl-MDMA and N-acetyl-MDMA while samples from Australia were elevated in 3,4-methylenedioxypropane and 3,4-methylenedioxyacetophenone. Furthermore, three components were found to be unique for one of the source countries. The additional separation of components on the 2D column, increased response due to modulation, high acquisition rate with full mass spectra using TOFMS detection, and MS deconvolution extend the possibility of detecting additional markers and route-specific components, especially of low abundant, polar components. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Singh K.,Forensic Science Unit
Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology | Year: 2011

Cases of "suicidal hanging" which meet stumbling block of disapproval of the relatives are sensitive. One such case is being presented. The case was marked by coexistence of "sharp weapon injuries" that kept relatives protesting against the interpretation of "suicidal hanging". Different interpretations of these injuries created confusions of homicide. After reading the case the reader would be convinced that "suicidal" hanging does present in an unconventional manner. Confusions deepen if weapon is not available on the day one but had to be searched out. Situation gets complicated if bleeding was present at the scene of hanging or if the evidence of bleeding had been wiped out.


PubMed | Registro Nacional de ADN, Laboratorio Of Genetica Forense, University Miguel Hernández, Forensic Science Unit and 37 more.
Type: | Journal: Forensic science international. Genetics | Year: 2016

Since 1992, the Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Working Group of the ISFG (GHEP-ISFG) has been organizing annual Intercomparison Exercises (IEs) coordinated by the Quality Service at the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences (INTCF) from Madrid, aiming to provide proficiency tests for forensic DNA laboratories. Each annual exercise comprises a Basic (recently accredited under ISO/IEC 17043: 2010) and an Advanced Level, both including a kinship and a forensic module. Here, we show the results for both autosomal and sex-chromosomal STRs, and for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in two samples included in the forensic modules, namely a mixture 2:1 (v/v) saliva/blood (M4) and a mixture 4:1 (v/v) saliva/semen (M8) out of the five items provided in the 2014 GHEP-ISFG IE. Discrepancies, other than typos or nomenclature errors (over the total allele calls), represented 6.5% (M4) and 4.7% (M8) for autosomal STRs, 15.4% (M4) and 7.8% (M8) for X-STRs, and 1.2% (M4) and 0.0% (M8) for Y-STRs. Drop-out and drop-in alleles were the main cause of errors, with laboratories using different criteria regarding inclusion of minor peaks and stutter bands. Commonly used commercial kits yielded different results for a micro-variant detected at locus D12S391. In addition, the analysis of electropherograms revealed that the proportions of the contributors detected in the mixtures varied among the participants. In regards to mtDNA analysis, besides important discrepancies in reporting heteroplasmies, there was no agreement for the results of sample M4. Thus, while some laboratories documented a single control region haplotype, a few reported unexpected profiles (suggesting contamination problems). For M8, most laboratories detected only the haplotype corresponding to the saliva. Although the GHEP-ISFG has already a large experience in IEs, the present multi-centric study revealed challenges that still exist related to DNA mixtures interpretation. Overall, the results emphasize the need for further research and training actions in order to improve the analysis of mixtures among the forensic practitioners.


Martinez-Cadenas C.,University of Castellon | Lopez S.,University of the Basque Country | Ribas G.,INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute | Flores C.,University Hospital Ns Of Candelaria | And 14 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2013

In humans, the geographical apportionment of the coding diversity of the pigmentary locus melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) is, unusually, higher in Eurasians than in Africans. This atypical observation has been interpreted as the result of purifying selection due to functional constraint on MC1R in high UV-B radiation environments. By analyzing 3,142 human MC1R alleles from different regions of Spain in the context of additional haplotypic information from the 1000 Genomes (1000G) Project data, we show that purifying selection is also strong in southern Europe, but not so in northern Europe. Furthermore, we show that purifying and positive selection act simultaneously on MC1R. Thus, at least in Spain, regions at opposite ends of the incident UV-B radiation distribution show significantly different frequencies for the melanoma-risk allele V60L (a mutation also associated to red hair and fair skin and even blonde hair), with higher frequency of V60L at those regions of lower incident UV-B radiation. Besides, using the 1000G south European data, we show that the V60L haplogroup is also characterized by an extended haplotype homozygosity (EHH) pattern indicative of positive selection. We, thus, provide evidence for an adaptive value of human skin depigmentation in Europe and illustrate how an adaptive process can simultaneously help to maintain a disease-risk allele. In addition, our data support the hypothesis proposed by Jablonski and Chaplin (Human skin pigmentation as an adaptation to UVB radiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2010;107:8962-8968), which posits that habitation of middle latitudes involved the evolution of partially depigmented phenotypes that are still capable of suitable tanning. © 2013 The Author.


Lopez S.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez S.,University College London | Smith-Zubiaga I.,University of the Basque Country | De Galdeano A.G.,University of the Basque Country | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

We analysed the whole-genome transcriptional profile of 6 cell lines of dark melanocytes (DM) and 6 of light melanocytes (LM) at basal conditions and after ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation at different time points to investigate the mechanisms by which melanocytes protect human skin from the damaging effects of UVB. Further, we assessed the effect of different keratinocyte-conditioned media (KCM+ and KCM-) on melanocytes. Our results suggest that an interaction between ribosomal proteins and the P53 signaling pathway may occur in response to UVB in both DM and LM. We also observed that DM and LM show differentially expressed genes after irradiation, in particular at the first 6h after UVB. These are mainly associated with inflammatory reactions, cell survival or melanoma. Furthermore, the culture with KCM+ compared with KCM-had a noticeable effect on LM. This effect includes the activation of various signaling pathways such as the mTOR pathway, involved in the regulation of cell metabolism, growth, proliferation and survival. Finally, the comparison of the transcriptional profiles between LM and DM under basal conditions, and the application of natural selection tests in human populations allowed us to support the significant evolutionary role of MIF and ATP6V0B in the pigmentary phenotype. Copyright: © 2015 López et al.


PubMed | Forensic Science Unit, Cruces University Hospital, University of the Basque Country and Jaume I University
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

We analysed the whole-genome transcriptional profile of 6 cell lines of dark melanocytes (DM) and 6 of light melanocytes (LM) at basal conditions and after ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation at different time points to investigate the mechanisms by which melanocytes protect human skin from the damaging effects of UVB. Further, we assessed the effect of different keratinocyte-conditioned media (KCM+ and KCM-) on melanocytes. Our results suggest that an interaction between ribosomal proteins and the P53 signaling pathway may occur in response to UVB in both DM and LM. We also observed that DM and LM show differentially expressed genes after irradiation, in particular at the first 6h after UVB. These are mainly associated with inflammatory reactions, cell survival or melanoma. Furthermore, the culture with KCM+ compared with KCM- had a noticeable effect on LM. This effect includes the activation of various signaling pathways such as the mTOR pathway, involved in the regulation of cell metabolism, growth, proliferation and survival. Finally, the comparison of the transcriptional profiles between LM and DM under basal conditions, and the application of natural selection tests in human populations allowed us to support the significant evolutionary role of MIF and ATP6V0B in the pigmentary phenotype.


Martin P.,Institute of Toxicology and Forensic science | Garcia O.,Forensic Science Unit | Heinrichs B.,Institute of Toxicology and Forensic science | Yurrebaso I.,Forensic Science Unit | And 2 more authors.
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2013

Samples from 71 unrelated Central Spain individuals and 60 Basque Country autochthonous individuals were typed with the Investigator DIPplex kit (30 biallelic autosomal mini-indels and amelogenin) and their allele frequencies were determined. Results demonstrated the assumption of independence within and between the loci analyzed. Different partially silent alleles were observed for the locus HLD97 (rs17238892) produced by a neighboring SNP (A/G), located 61 bp downstream from the main indel site as shown by sequencing analysis. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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