Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $191,429)
The use of laser microdissection (LM) to isolate individual cells for subsequent genetic analysis is a technique that is well established in the clinical laboratory. Its adaptation to the forensics field will provide a means of physically separating sperm from epithelial cells as well as improving the collection and DNA analysis associated with touch evidence. By analyzing a single cell, LM may even offer a means to separate mixtures. The overall goal of this proposal is to investigate various aspects of this technology including: the best technique to prepare and transfer cells from the evidence to the slide, enhancement of the extraction process of a sample collected by laser microdissection, optimization of the STR amplification procedure, and the effectiveness of laser microdissection across a range of evidentiary samples.