2003 MFRC-funded Projects
Validation of Y-PLEX 12 Amplification Kit for use in Forensic Casework
William E. Frank, Illinois State Police Forensic Science Command
Currently, many forensic laboratories are finding the interpretation of DNA data from sexual assault cases to be a time consuming process. The interpretation of DNA data from sexual assault cases with more than one semen donor is becoming increasingly difficult. Current research in the use of the Y-STR DNA analysis indicates a potential use for resolving interpretation issues in forensic casework. Generating a population database for Y-STR, will provide forensic laboratories with an essential tool in evaluating DNA evidence.
Further Development and Validation of DNA-Based Methods for Species of Origin Determination and Human DNA Quantitation in Forensic Casework Specimens
R.E. Gaensslen and Barbara Llewellyn, University of Illinois - Chicago
A method for determining species of origin using a PCR amplification of a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox I) locus sequence will be further developed and validated. Initially and as proof of concept, we will try to devise a multiplex PCR method for distinguishing human, dog, cat, and horse DNA amenable to analysis in commonly used CE-based ABI detection instruments. Second, a microplate-based spectrofluorimetric method for quantitating human DNA in forensic specimens will be validated. Properly validated, this method could replace currently used Quanti-Blot, saving multiple examiner hours per specimen and increasing throughput time.
Forensic Analysis of Trace Explosives by Immunoextraction/Capillary Electrophoresis
David S. Hage, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The increased use of explosives in terrorist activities has created a great demand for fast and reliable methods for explosives detection. In this project, the laboratory of Prof. David S. Hage at the University of Nebraska in partnership with the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab will develop a new explosives detection method that combines antibody-based extraction with capillary electrophoresis. A laboratory-based system will be created for measuring a variety of common explosives and pipe bomb additives. In future work this system will be modified to create a field-portable device for explosives detection.
Developing Aptamers to Methamphetamine as Nucleic Acid Sensors
Marit Nilsen-Hamilton and George Kraus, Iowa State University
Aptamers (small oligonucleotide sequences) will be selected that specifically recognize methamphetamine for the development of a highly sensitive fluorescence-based assay. The following specific aims are proposed: 1) isolate aptamers specific for methamphetamine and 2) characterize the isolated aptamers.
Evaluation of the Promega DNA IQ™ and Qiagen BioRobot EZ1™ System as an Extraction Method for Mitochondrial DNA Analysis
Kenneth Pfoser and M. Kelly Gannon, Northern Illinois Police Crime Laboratory
Current DNA extraction methods require lengthy extractions and numerous sample manipulations potentially leading to inadvertently adding extraneous DNA. The current study evaluates two methods for DNA extraction. The Promega DNA IQ TM System is a “hands-on” extraction method for forensic samples, including hair and tissue, based on magnetic separation of the sample DNA from the substrate. The Qiagen BioRobot EZ1 TM System is an automated extraction system based on similar magnetic separation technology requiring minimal “hands-on” preparation utilizing reagent cartridges in an enclosed system. Both systems quickly produce high quality DNA, minimizing potential analyst error and introduction of extraneous DNA.
Quantitative/Statistical Approach to Bullet-to-Firearm Identification with Consecutively Manufactured Barrels
Peter Striupaitis and R.E. Gaensslen, University of Illinois - Chicago
Six consecutively manufactured barrels from each of two firearms manufacturers (12 barrels in all) representing the beginning, middle and end of the rifling tool life cycle will be obtained. Two test firings through each barrel will yield 6 pairs of bullets from each manufacturer. Striation markings on each bullet will be scanned by two separate methods so as to be graphically representable, and correspondingly amenable to importation into and analysis with an appropriate computer program. Detailed intra- and inter-bullet scoring, comparisons and statistical analysis will yield data that attempt to approximate an objective approach to the firearms identification process.