Erandio, Spain
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Toscanini U.,PRICAI Fundacion Favaloro | Gusmao L.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Gusmao L.,University of Porto | Alava Narvaez M.C.,Laboratorio Of Genetica Regional Bogota Del Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Y Ciencias Forenses | And 47 more authors.
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. © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


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.


Crespillo M.,Mixture Commission of the GHEP ISFG | Crespillo M.,INTCF National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Science | Barrio P.A.,Mixture Commission of the GHEP ISFG | Barrio P.A.,INTCF National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Science | And 33 more authors.
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2014

One of the main objectives of the Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Group of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (GHEP-ISFG) is to promote and contribute to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the area of forensic genetics. Due to this fact, GHEP-ISFG holds different working commissions that are set up to develop activities in scientific aspects of general interest. One of them, the Mixture Commission of GHEP-ISFG, has organized annually, since 2009, a collaborative exercise on analysis and interpretation of autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) mixture profiles. Until now, three exercises have been organized (GHEP-MIX01, GHEP-MIX02 and GHEP-MIX03), with 32, 24 and 17 participant laboratories respectively. The exercise aims to give a general vision by addressing, through the proposal of mock cases, aspects related to the edition of mixture profiles and the statistical treatment. The main conclusions obtained from these exercises may be summarized as follows. Firstly, the data show an increased tendency of the laboratories toward validation of DNA mixture profiles analysis following international recommendations (ISO/IEC 17025:2005). Secondly, the majority of discrepancies are mainly encountered in stutters positions (53.4%, 96.0% and 74.9%, respectively for the three editions). On the other hand, the results submitted reveal the importance of performing duplicate analysis by using different kits in order to reduce errors as much as possible. Regarding the statistical aspect (GHEP-MIX02 and 03), all participants employed the likelihood ratio (LR) parameter to evaluate the statistical compatibility and the formulas employed were quite similar. When the hypotheses to evaluate the LR value were locked by the coordinators (GHEP-MIX02) the results revealed a minor number of discrepancies that were mainly due to clerical reasons. However, the GHEP-MIX03 exercise allowed the participants to freely come up with their own hypotheses to calculate the LR value. In this situation the laboratories reported several options to explain the mock cases proposed and therefore significant differences between the final LR values were obtained. Complete information concerning the background of the criminal case is a critical aspect in order to select the adequate hypotheses to calculate the LR value. Although this should be a task for the judicial court to decide, it is important for the expert to account for the different possibilities and scenarios, and also offer this expertise to the judge. In addition, continuing education in the analysis and interpretation of mixture DNA profiles may also be a priority for the vast majority of forensic laboratories. © 2014 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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