You are here

Research Project Abstracts

Alloy Assessment of Firearms Related to Acid Etching Forensic Techniques - 2002 
Dave Utrata, Iowa State University

This work would correlate the alloy analysis of various firearms to optimized forensic etching techniques used for the recovery of obliterated serial numbers. This recovery is facilitated by the selection on the most suitable etchant for any given firearm, based on an awareness of the alloy used. Beyond a superficial knowledge of properties of the samples, investigators typically are forced to experiment with an array of etchants, singularly or in sequence. This work will use a portable tool to generate a list of firearm alloy analysis, thereby guiding a criminologist to select the right etchant for a given firearm.

Analysis of Automotive Clear Coat Paints by Micro Laser Raman Spectroscopy - 2007 
Jay A. Siegel, Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis

This proposal requests funds to partially fund the purchase a micro laser Raman Spectrometer which will be used to evaluate the feasibility and discriminating power of Raman Spectrometry in the characterization and analysis of automotive clear coat paints. This represents one phase of an ongoing project in the analysis of clear coats that is being undertaken by the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program at IUPUI. The methods being used include Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometry and UV-visible-near infrared Spectrophotometry. The Raman phase of the project will be done partnering with the Indiana State Police Forensic Science Lab.

Analysis of Forensic Soil Samples via High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Ion Chromatography (IC) - 2005
Christopher Bommarito, Michigan State Police Lansing Laboratory

Forensic soil comparison has traditionally been performed via mineralogical analysis. Any water or organic soluble fractions of soil are typically disregarded in forensic comparisons. Methods for high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) analysis of organic and humic materials in soil have been developed but their discriminatory power has not been demonstrated in the literature. Ion chromatography (IC) has been utilized for detection of water soluble inorganic anions in forensic explosive analysis but has not been utilized in forensic soil comparisons. This study will examine qualitative variation in acetonitrile soluble organic fractions of soil and quantitative variation in inorganic anions such as nitrate, chlorate and perchlorate in soil. Quantitative analysis of inorganic anions will also provide information regarding baseline levels of these materials in rural, suburban and urban areas which will assist forensic scientists in data interpretation in the analysis of low explosives in soil samples.

Application of Crystal Orientation Method to Forensic Physical Matching of Metal Surfaces Along a Fracture Line - 2006
Barbara K. Lograsso and Thomas Lograsso, Ames Laboratory

The overall objective of this study is to show that crystal orientation can be used to match metal fracture surfaces and conclude that they were one piece of metal prior to fracturing. Electron Back-Scattered Diffraction (EBSD) is used to determine the orientation of the individual crystals. The outcome of this project will be a workable map of the orientation pattern of crystals along the fracture surfaces of metals.

An Artificial Neural Network for Wavelet Steganalysis - 2004 
Clifford Bergman and Jennifer Davidson, Iowa State University

Hiding messages in image data, called steganography, is used by criminals and noncriminals alike to send information over the Internet. The detection of hidden messages in image data stored on websites and computers, called steganalysis, is of prime importance to cyber forensics. Automated detection of hidden messages is a requirement, since the shear amount of image data available online makes it impossible for a person to investigate each image separately. The proposed research is to develop a prototype software system that automatically classifies an image as having hidden information or not, using a powerful classifier called an artificial neural network (ANN). The novelty of this ANN will be its ability to detect messages hidden with wavelet embedding algorithms, in addition to other transforms, and the wide range of file types it can use, including jpeg2000, which will be more widely used in future image compression and hence on the Internet.

CD-ROM Based Digital/Information Database on Pipe and Tubing Utilized in Improvised Explosive Devices - 2005
James B. Crippin, Western Forensic Law Enforcement Training Center, David Green, Lake County Regional Crime

The majority of explosive devices that are dealt with by law enforcement agencies within the United States fall into the area of what is referred to as “Improvised Explosive Devices” or IED’s. These refer to explosive devices that are clandestinely manufactured from materials that can be bought in hardware stores and other common locations. By having a database that contains data regarding manufacturer stamps and other information that can be found on the various types of pipes and tubing that can be used to manufacture IED’s available to both investigators at the scene, as well as laboratory personnel examining bombing debris, the chances for successful resolution of a bombing incident are greatly increased.

Detection of Substituted PAH Residues by SPME in Arson Debris Analysis- 2004 
Charles R. Cornett, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Joseph Wermeling, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory-Madison

This project addresses the need for method development in the recovery of ignitable liquid residues from a variety of matrices outlined in Forensic Sciences: Review of Status and Needs (1) by assessing novel screening applications of SPME in the analysis of polyaromatic compounds (ie. naphthalene) from gasoline residues. Project objectives include:

  1. development of optimal SPME protocols for assessing the aromatic analogs of interest,
  2. comparison of SPME methodologies with activated carbon strip (ACS), and
  3. a partnership with Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory – Madison to assess the effectiveness of SPME in detecting gasoline residue in complex arson debris matrices.

Determination of Heavy Metals in Whole Blood using Inductively-Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry - 2007
Joseph R. Wermeling, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory

The forensic investigation of toxicological cases involving acute intoxication, poisoning and death investigations is heavily focused on the analysis of organic and pharmaceutical analytes of interest. The determination of inorganic analytes, especially heavy metals, is often limited to a few metals, using relatively insensitive wet chemical techniques or single-element methods employing atomic absorption or graphite furnace methods. This project addresses the need for the development of rapid, sensitive multi-elemental methods for the analysis of metal toxins in whole blood, which expands the range of inorganic analysis in toxicological investigations.

Developing Aptamers to Methamphetamine as Nucleic Acid Sensors - 2003 
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.

Development of Forensic Imaging Technique for Fast Analysis of Magnetic Tapes with High Spatial Resolution - 2006
Seong Jae Lee, Center For Nondestructive Evaluation, Iowa State University/Ames Lab

Currently video cameras are widely used as a tool for recording criminal acts. Due to recent enormous advances in analog and digital editing technologies, digital editing or fabrication of videotape evidence has become possible. Today fine magnetic particles or ferrofluids are used to visualize any artificial alteration on magnetic tapes such as tape recorder ‘start’ and ‘stop’ marks and over-recordings. However, the use of magnetic particles and ferrofluids is time consuming, inaccurate, and can easily cause contamination or even damage on the surface of tape evidence. We propose a new forensic imaging technique which will allow fast and accurate analysis of magnetic tapes using a transparent magnetic garnet film. The garnet film replaces the magnetic particles or ferrofluids for visualization of magnetic fields and gives a non-invasive method of detection with a high spatial resolution and fast inspection time.

Development of a Magnetic Imaging Technique for Nondestructive Restoration of Serial Numbers - 2002 
M.J. Johnson and C.C.H. Lo, Iowa State University

Conventional techniques for restoring obliterated serial numbers are partially destructive.  Nondestructive alternatives are sought as they will allow the subsequent application of other methods to the test piece and do not destroy evidence in criminal cases.  We propose a method based on an array of high-resolution, high-sensitivity Hall or GMR sensor elements.  The array probe will be used to image the stray field that results from residual plastically deformed regions, the remains of the imprinted serial numbers.  Successful implementation of the proposed technique will provide an efficient, nondestructive forensics tool for recovering obliterated serial numbers without the need for surface preparation or other processing. 

Development of Magnetic Particle Method for Forensic Recovery of Serial Numbers - 2002 
Dave Utrata and Marcus Johnson, Iowa State University

This work will generate guidelines and insight for the proper use of the magnetic particle method as a forensic tool for the recovery of obliterated serial numbers on ferrous samples.  Practitioners of this method for nondestructive inspection are well aware that a successful inspection will be the result of using a magnetic field of appropriate magnitude and orientation, the correct nature of the magnetizing current (AC/DC/rectified) and a suitable choice of magnetic particle suspension.  Investigators in crime labs currently use this method in a manner that provides only sporadic success at best.  It is timely to remedy this situation.

Elemental Characterization of Automobile Body Fillers, Putties, and Caulk by Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Specrometry for Matching of Evidence - 2005
Stan Bajic and R.S. Houk, Ames Laboratory

This project will examine the elemental composition of automobile body fillers, body putties, and caulking-type materials, by Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and investigate if the trace element signatures can provide sufficient information to enable a forensic analyst to make a decision, either inclusion or exclusion, when comparing a questioned sample to a standard sample. This project will also develop criteria and protocols for the comparison and differentiation of these sample types and present the framework for a systematic scheme for elemental characterization of these materials.

Evaluation of Portable Raman Analyzer for Testing Drugs - 2007
Susan Gross, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Large case backlogs can cause slowdowns and delays in the judicial system. Speedy trial demands by the defendant are difficult to maintain with these backlogs. This research project proposes to ease some of the backlog problems by evaluating a portable drug identification system using laser based Raman technology. The evaluation of the Raman StreetLab® will be performed in the laboratory and in the field. By implementing a plan to analyze controlled substances in the field, the laboratory case backlog can be alleviated and the prosecution of controlled substance cases can continue in a timely manner.

Evaluation of the Promega DNA IQâ„¢ and Qiagen BioRobot EZ1â„¢ System as an Extraction Method for Mitochondrial DNA Analysis - 2003
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.

Fast Gas Chromatography Capabilities in Arson Debris Analysis - 2007
Charles R. Cornett, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This project assesses the potentially large impact that Fast Gas Chromatography (Fast GC) may have on the determination of ignitable liquids. Forensic Sciences: Review of Status and Needs clearly defines a need for further advances in this field; and current analytical literature appears to support Fast GC as a separation technique capable of comparable resolution to conventional GC in less time per sample. This research compares resolution capabilities of the two techniques in separating a wide range of ignitable liquids in an array of matrices. With sufficient resolution, Fast GC may help clear casework in a timelier manner.

Forensic Analysis of Trace Explosives by Immunoextraction/Capillary Electrophoresis - 2003
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.

Forensic Evaluation of Soils for Presence of Decaying Flesh - 2006 
William Buttner and Nathan Schattke, Illinois Institute of Technology

This proposed research concerns a new instrument to detect the presence and precise location of clandestinely buried bodies. Human decomposition produces a range of chemical by-products, these can indicate the presence of human remains. Traditionally detection of such a broad range of chemicals is performed with advanced and complicated instruments (GC-MS, HPLC, etc.). It is proposed herein to perform the first step in developing a portable instrument using pyrolysis, low power portable sensors, and/or pattern recognition to detect these chemicals. The end instrument will have both a Surface Sweep (for general area) and Cone Pentrometer (for specific location and verification).

Further Development and Validation of DNA-Based Methods for Species of Origin Determination and Human DNA Quantitation in Forensic Casework Specimens - 2003 
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.

High Speed Digital Video Analysis of Bloodstain Pattern Formation from Common Bloodletting Mechanisms - 2007
Terry L. Laber, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

The analysis of bloodstain patterns is used by criminal investigators to draw inferences about the events that gave rise to the formation of the pattern. It is asserted here that an understanding of the dynamics of a blood transfer event is critical to the sound interpretation of the resultant bloodstain pattern. This project proposes a systematic study of the formation of some of the common bloodstain patterns by using a high-speed digital video camera to record the blood transfer as it occurs. It is hoped that the outcome will be a significant contribution to the strengthening of the science underpinning BPA.

Identifying Co-ops and Farmers as Illicit Sources of Anhydrous Ammonia for Meth Makers - 2004 
John Verkade and George Kraus, Iowa State University

The main goal of this proposal is to identify employees of specific co-ops and farmers who are providing anhydrous ammonia to meth makers by lacing the anhydrous loaded into the co-op’s main storage tank with a salt that decomposes to an identifiable compound only during the illicit synthesis of meth.

Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry of Forensic Glass Samples - 2002 
David Baldwin, Sam Houk, and Stan Bajic, Ames Laboratory

Characterization of glass fragments is normally accomplished by measuring the physical and optical properties of density and refractive index.  However further discrimination, such as identification of a suspected source of origin, has become more difficult as the range of refractive indices has narrowed within glass subtypes because of advances in glass manufacturing technology.  This project proposes to evaluate laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry in order to determine the unique trace elemental signature or fingerprint of glass samples, and to develop criteria and protocols for the comparison and differentiation of glass fragments from different sources.

Long-Term Stability Studies of Liquid Samples from Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratories - 2006
Jeremiah Morris, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory

Solution stability data will be collected for liquid samples from various stages of methamphetamine production using the Iodine/Red phosphorus reaction scheme. Solution aliquots will be stored at four distinct storage conditions: Refrigerated (5ºC), Ambient, Controlled Room Temperature (25ºC/60% RH), and Elevated Room Temperature (40ºC). Sample solutions will be pulled at defined time-points up to twelve (12) months and analyzed by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine concentration trends of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and methamphetamine. Results of the analyses will be used to evaluate the precursor and final product stability based on specific sample storage conditions coupled with length of storage.

Measuring Variation in Expert Evaluation During Latent Print Comparisons - 2006
Glenn Langenburg, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Latent print examiners in the United States utilize a methodology called ACE-V. This is an acronym for Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, and Verification. The objective of the project is to measure variation between examiners during the opinion-forming stages of ACE-V. We will statistically evaluate the results (both the conclusions and the basis for the conclusion) of experts examining several side-by-side comparisons of latent prints and known exemplars, under various conditions. The experiment will be repeated with non-experts and the results of both groups compared. Additional background information will be collected from the participants (e.g. training, experience, sex) for further comparison of the results.

Micromechanical Cantilever (MC) based Sensors for Chemical Species Detection - 2006
Pranav Shrotriya and Marit Nilsen-Hamilton, Iowa State University/Ames Lab

Micromechanical cantilever (MC) based sensors can provide revolutionary sensitivity for forensic detection and identification of controlled substances, toxic species, biological molecules and DNA matching. Current sensor systems require extensive sample preparation and/or specialized instrumentation to identify molecules of controlled substances such as cocaine with high specificity and sensitivity. We aim to overcome these limitations by developing robust miniature sensors based on high-resolution interferometry coupled with aptamer-based receptor layers. In order to demonstrate the feasibility and forensic suitability of our approach, we will develop MC-based sensor for sensitive and specific identification of cocaine molecules.

Optimization of headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) for organic impurity profiling of illicit MDMA tablets - 2007
Ruth J. Waddell, Michigan State University

Organic impurity profiling of illicit synthetic drug tablets aims to identify similarities among tablets. Similar impurity profiles indicate a common production method, and similar levels of the same impurities potentially indicate common production laboratories. In this research, headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) procedures for the extraction of organic impurities from illicit MDMA ('ecstasy') tablets will be developed and compared with conventional liquid-liquid extraction procedures, in terms of the number and level of impurities extracted. HS-SPME is rapid, requiring no solvent and yielding selective extraction of impurities. Hence, HS-SPME is a promising extraction procedure that offers attractive advantages over conventional procedures.

Quantification of the Individual Characteristics of Human Dentition - 2006
L. Thomas Johnson, Marquette University

The comparative forensic sciences are under attack for lacking a scientific basis. Objective observations are believed to be subjectively interpreted. This pilot undertaking may afford the criminal justice system a tool in providing hard science for the objective statement of probability, in either exculpating or incriminating a suspect from patterned injuries caused by human teeth. Although deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) can be associated with a human bite, it is not always recovered as a link. The significance is that with a large number of additional exemplars analyzed, a database could be produced from which the human dentition can be virtually individualized.

Quantitative Characterization of Machining Marks for Comparative Identification - 2002 
L.S. Chumbley, Ames Laboratory, and L. Genalo, Iowa State University

This project seeks to provide law enforcement officials with quantitative data concerning the nature of tool affected surfaces.  The work will involve examination of surfaces using a combination of optical microscopy coupled with quantitative measurements of the surface relief.  The surface will be examined optically and regions of interest identified for replication using a simple technique.  The resulting replica will be characterized using a two-dimensional profilometer.  The data will be statistically evaluated to ensure that the replica accurately portrays the surface and, if so, attempts will be made to identify an unknown sample by comparison to known samples.  If successful, this process should yield a forensic technique that is rapid, easy to perform, and applicable to any shaped surface.

Quantitative/Statistical Approach to Bullet-to-Firearm Identification with Consecutively Manufactured Barrels - 2003
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.

Spectral Analysis of the 3D fracture surfaces for Enhanced Matching - 2007
Ashraf Bastawros, Iowa State University, and Barbara Lograsso, Michigan Technological University

A fractal surface carries sets of unique signatures dictated by the intrinsic material microstructure and the external loading conditions. This proposal combines the basic understanding of fracture mechanics with the practical applications of forensic science to develop testing protocols for improved matching of fractured surfaces. A 3D spectral analysis of the fractural surface will be developed to identify these fractal signatures and show their uniqueness for each fractured specimen. Fracture of metal coupon specimens will be used to generate proof of concept and establish the approach feasibility. Thereafter, its matching ability will be compared against those techniques currently used in forensic labs.

Statistical Validation Study of Toolmark Uniqueness - 2005
David Baldwin, Ames Laboratory, Max Morris, Iowa State University, Stan Bajic, Ames Laboratory

The premise that particular manufacturing methods produce marks on tools that are substantially different from tool to tool is generally accepted by the toolmark examiner community. This premise is empirically based on a handful of limited studies in the literature and years of training and practice by examiners. The purpose of this research is to help objectively establish validation of the “machined-surface uniqueness” premise by refining statistical algorithms that were developed under an earlier feasibility study funded by the FBI, and applying them to a large database of previously collected digital images representing several different manufacturing process.

The Temporal Fate of Drugs in Decomposing Tissues - 2007 
John Wyman, Franklin County, Ohio Coroner’s Office

Interpreting drug concentrations found in decomposed remains is always difficult. Postmortem tissues which are routinely collected and analyzed (blood, urine, vitreous humor), and therefore provide the largest comparative database for interpretation, are frequently lost in the early stages of putrefaction. Consequently, when drugs are found in weathered tissues, there is currently little, or no information, available to help guide the toxicologist, and subsequently the pathologist, in evaluating whether a drug(s) played any significant role in causing the death. This study will follow the fate of sixteen drugs, which commonly cause intoxications, in seven different tissues collected from decomposing pigs.

Testing DNA Samples for Population of Origin - 2007 
Raymond D. Miller, Washington University School of Medicine

To help field investigators with unidentified DNA samples, we propose to develop and implement a forensic test in the crime laboratories of our collaborators that will give information about the population of origin of the donor of a DNA sample. The test will use available equipment to genotype ancestry informative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The results will be compared with known population frequencies of self-described ethnic groups in order to narrow the possible ancestry of the sample.

Trace Metal Analysis of Ecstasy by Microwave-assisted Digestion and Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) - 2004 
Philip W. Crawford, Southeast Missouri State University, James McGill, Southeast Missouri State University, and Pam Johnson, Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Laboratory

Trace elements in ecstasy samples obtained from law enforcement agencies will be determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) using microwave assisted digestion. Elemental patterns or signatures will be determined for the purpose of comparing and differentiating between ecstasy samples. The effect of changing the experimental parameters used during the microwave assisted digestion on the ICP data will be investigated. The emission data will be analyzed using statistical multivariate methods in order to determine if the results allow for discrimination between different categories of samples. In addition, ICP-OES of ecstasy samples synthesized in the lab will be performed to determine if samples from the same preparative batch can be positively linked together and distinguished from separate batches based upon their trace metal profiles. The applications of this project to forensic analysis will be studied.

Ultra-Fast Gradient Elution HPLC as a High Throughput, High Information Content Screening Tool for Drugs of Abuse - 2004
Peter W. Carr, University of Minnesota

We propose the development of Ultra-Fast Gradient Elution Reversed-Phase HPLC (UFGELC) with Diode-Array Detection (DAD) as a very high throughput tool for screening biological samples for the presence of regulated intoxicants. We will target an order-of-magnitude improvement in the speed of a gradient elution screening method over current methods, by optimizing the operational parameters of both the HPLC column and the HPLC instrument without compromising the reproducibility of HPLC retention times. Most importantly, a novel instrument configuration will be used to significantly reduce the time needed to re-equilibrate the HPLC column between gradient runs, thereby reducing the total time for each complete gradient elution analysis. Finally, upon development of the UFGELC method, we will compare the performance of the methodology to other established and emerging techniques in the forensic laboratory, including immunoassay-based techniques and capillary electrophoresis, using a set of 21 opiates and amphetamines as target analytes. Our goal is a gradient HPLC cycle time of < 2 minutes (>30 samples/hour) with a sensitivity and selectivity equal to or surpassing the current screening technologies.

Ultra-Fast Gradient Elution HPLC as a High Throughput, High Information Content Screening Tool for Drugs of Abuse - 2007
Peter W. Carr, University of Minnesota

In previous work that has yielded two publications, we developed Ultra-Fast Gradient Elution Reversed-Phase HPLC with Diode-Array Detection as a fast (< 4 minutes/run) tool for screening samples for regulated intoxicants. Through a combination of precise retention measurements (+/-0.002 min. run) and chemometric analysis of the spectro-chromatograms, we significantly improved both the speed and selectivity of older HPLC methods. We propose two further improvements: First, to decrease the error rates and facilitate chemometric analysis, we will run apparent positives on a second nearly orthogonal column. We will test both a unique commercial phase and a novel hydrophobically-assisted cation exchange phase currently under development. Second, to optimize chromatographic resolution, we will use a newly developed general purpose optimization scheme.

Validation of Y-PLEX 12 Amplification Kit for use in Forensic Casework - 2003
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.