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Faber K.L.,Fresno Regional Laboratory | Person E.C.,California State University, Fresno | Hudlow W.R.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2013

Forensic evidence samples are collected from an unlimited variety of substrates, which may contain compounds known to inhibit the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These PCR inhibitors are co-extracted with the DNA sample and can negatively affect the DNA typing results, which can range from partial to complete inhibition of the short tandem repeat (STR) PCR. One potential solution is to remove the PCR inhibitors from the extracts prior to the STR PCR with the NucleoSpin® DNA Clean-Up XS kit. The kit contains a NucleoSpin® XS silica column that has a special funnel design of thrust rings along with a very small silica membrane, which allows for sample elution in a small volume that is appropriate for use with current STR typing kits. The NucleoSpin® DNA Clean-Up XS kit was optimized for the best possible DNA recovery and then evaluated for its ability to remove eight commonly encountered PCR inhibitors including: bile salt, collagen, hematin, humic acid, indigo, melanin, tannic acid and urea. Each of these PCR inhibitors was effectively removed by the NucleoSpin® DNA Clean-Up XS kit as demonstrated by generating more complete STR profiles from the cleaned up inhibitor samples than from the raw inhibitor samples. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Buckleton J.,ESR Ltd. | Myers S.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2014

Walsh et al. [1] outlined a method for adjusting autosomal coancestry values, θA, to take account of the existence of a Y chromosome match, θA|Y. The framework established by Walsh et al. is flexible and allows an investigation of some real world effects such as family structure. It also allows the effect of a Y chromosome match to be placed within the construct of existing casework practice. Most notable is the ability to deal with an assigned value for the autosomal coancestry coefficient and the fact that most casework statistics report a value for unrelated individuals unless case circumstances suggest differently. The values of θA|Y are not much larger than θA and a coherent argument could be made that any adjustment is unnecessary. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Gittelson S.,University of Washington | Kalafut T.,U.S. Army | Myers S.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory | Taylor D.,Forensic Science South Australia | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2016

The interpretation of complex DNA profiles is facilitated by a Bayesian approach. This approach requires the development of a pair of propositions: one aligned to the prosecution case and one to the defense case. This note explores the issue of proposition setting in an adversarial environment by a series of examples. A set of guidelines generalize how to formulate propositions when there is a single person of interest and when there are multiple individuals of interest. Additional explanations cover how to handle multiple defense propositions, relatives, and the transition from subsource level to activity level propositions. The propositions depend on case information and the allegations of each of the parties. The prosecution proposition is usually known. The authors suggest that a sensible proposition is selected for the defense that is consistent with their stance, if available, and consistent with a realistic defense if their position is not known. © 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Source

Date-Chong M.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory | Buoncristiani M.R.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory | Aceves M.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory | Orrego C.,University of California at Berkeley
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2013

The goal of this study was to compare two commonly used methods for the surface decontamination of human hair shafts, and to evaluate the use of a duplex real-time qPCR assay to assess decontamination effectiveness for the purpose of mitochondrial DNA typing. Hair shafts of known mitochondrial DNA haplotype were coated with undiluted saliva, semen or blood, each of known mitochondrial haplotype distinct from the test hair. Surface decontamination was conducted by enzymatic treatment with Terg-a-zyme™ and by chemical treatment with dilutions of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO, bleach). Following DNA extraction, a duplex (nuclear and mitochondrial DNA) real-time qPCR assay was used to quantify mitochondrial DNA and to test for surface contamination by quantifying the exogenous nuclear DNA not removed from the hair shaft. The NaClO treatment was found to be more effective for removing surface contamination than the Terg-a-zyme™ treatment, and it was procedurally simpler to implement, resulting in a significant savings of sample processing time. Exposure to 3% NaClO for up to two minutes had no detrimental effect on quantity or typing of the mitochondrial DNA belonging to the hair. In addition, we demonstrated that the duplex real-time PCR assay is a convenient early-warning diagnostic method for the detection of the presence of external DNA contamination, providing an assessment of the purity of the sample prior to embarking on further analysis by more laborious mitochondrial DNA typing methods. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Hudlow W.R.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory | Buoncristiani M.R.,Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2012

We present a rapid alkaline lysis procedure for the extraction of DNA from sexual assault evidence that generates purified sperm fraction extracts that yield STR typing results similar to those obtained from the traditional organic/dithiothreitol differential extraction. Specifically, a sodium hydroxide based differential extraction method has been developed in a single-tube format and further optimized in a 96-well format. The method yields purified extracts from a small sample set (∼2-6 swabs) in approximately 2 h and from a larger sample set (up to 96 swabs) in approximately 4 h. While conventional differential extraction methods require vigorous sample manipulation to remove the spermatozoa from the substrate, the method described here exploits the propensity of sperm to adhere to a substrate and does not require any manipulation of the substrate after it is sampled. For swabs, sample handling is minimized by employing a process where the tip of the swab, including the shaft, is transferred to the appropriate vessel eliminating the need for potentially hazardous scalpels to separate the swab material from the shaft. The absence of multiple handling steps allows the process to be semi-automated, however the procedure as described here does not require use of a robotic system. This method may provide forensic laboratories a cost-effective tool for the eradication of backlogs of sexual assault evidence, and more timely service to their client agencies. In addition, we have demonstrated that a modification of the procedure can be used to retrieve residual sperm-cell DNA from previously extracted swabs. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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