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Goray M.,Victoria Police Forensic Service Center | Goray M.,La Trobe University | Mitchell J.R.,La Trobe University | van Oorschot R.A.H.,Victoria Police Forensic Service Center
Legal Medicine | Year: 2012

DNA transfer and its possible role in explaining the presence of a biological sample at a crime scene is becoming more prevalent in criminal investigations and related court proceedings. To assist understanding of DNA transfer and assess the extent to which we can utilise already available information regarding transfer of DNA we compare transfer rates determined from mock multi-step transfer scenarios with transfer rates predicted by the application of currently available transfer rate data. The transfer results obtained from the scenarios tested were, in some instances, different (both lower and higher rates) from those predicted. These discrepancies are most likely the result of the impact of as yet untested variables. These may include the variations in substrate type, transfer area size and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity among others. Whilst detailed re-enactments of proposed transfer scenarios, that take into account the many possibly relevant aspects affecting transfer are desirable, to provide an accurate likelihood estimate, these are not always possible. The application of detailed transfer rate tables that include data on the many factors affecting transfer could provide a useful substitute for evaluating the likelihood of specific transfer events. The value and accuracy derived from applying such tables will improve as more research in this area is conducted and the tables expanded and refined. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source


Goray M.,Victoria Police Forensic Service Center | Goray M.,La Trobe University | Mitchell R.J.,La Trobe University | Oorschot R.A.H.v.,Victoria Police Forensic Service Center
Legal Medicine | Year: 2010

There is a paucity of data on the relative transfer rates of deposited biological substances which could assist evaluation of the probability of given crime scene scenarios, especially for those relating to objects originally touched by hand. This investigation examines factors that may influence the secondary transfer of DNA from this source, including the freshness of the deposit, the nature of the primary and secondary substrate and the manner of contact between the surfaces. The transfer rates showed that both the primary and secondary type of substrate and the manner of contact are important factors influencing transfer of skin cells, but, unlike other biological fluids, such as blood and saliva, the freshness of the deposit in most instances is not. Skin cells deposited on a non-porous primary substrate transferred more readily to subsequent substrates than those deposited on a porous substrate. Porous secondary substrates, however, facilitated transfer more readily than non-porous secondary substrates, from both porous and non-porous surfaces. Friction as the manner of contact significantly increased the rate of transfer. The findings of this study improve our general understanding of the transfer of DNA material contained in fingerprints that is left on a surface, and assist in the evaluation of the probability of secondary and further DNA transfer under specific conditions. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Goray M.,Victoria Police Forensic Service Center | Goray M.,La Trobe University | Eken E.,Victoria Police Forensic Service Center | Mitchell R.J.,La Trobe University | van Oorschot R.A.H.,Victoria Police Forensic Service Center
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2010

This research investigates factors that may influence the secondary transfer of DNA. These include the type of biological substance deposited, the nature of the primary and secondary substrate, moisture content of the deposit and type of contact between the surfaces. Results showed that secondary transfer is significantly affected by both the type of primary substrate and the moisture (wetness) of the biological sample. Porous substrates and/or dry samples diminished transfer (with on average only 0.36% of biological material being transferred from one site to another), whereas non-porous substrates and/or wet samples facilitated transfer events (approximately 50-95% of biological material was transferred from one site to another). Further, the type of secondary substrate also influenced transfer rate, with porous surfaces, absorbing transferred biological substances more readily than non-porous ones. No significant differences were observed among the biological substances tested (pure DNA, blood and saliva). Friction contact between the two substrates significantly enhanced secondary transfer compared to either passive or pressure contact. These preliminary results will assist in developing general assumptions when estimating probability of a secondary DNA transfer event under simple conditions. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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