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Applications of Molecular Genetics to Human Identity

NCJ Number
Date Published
Meredith A. Turnbough
This paper discusses methods for extracting DNA from human skeletal remains.
In an effort to develop more robust methods for analyzing DNA from degraded, aged, or otherwise compromised skeletal remains, this project’s objectives were to develop improved methods for extracting DNA from human skeletal remains; to improve STR profiling success of low-copy DNA samples by using whole genome amplification in order to amplify the total pool of DNA prior to STR analysis; and to improve STR profiling success of damaged DNA templates by using DNA repair enzymes in reducing the number/severity of lesions that interfere with STR profiling. Overall, bleach outperformed UV as a pretreatment, and DNA extraction using silica outperformed microconcentration and organic extraction. DNA repair with PreCRtm A outperformed both whole genome amplification and repair with PreCRtm T6. Superior DNA extraction results were achieved using the A6 PMB columns, and DNA repair with PreCRtm A led to an overall improvement in profile quality in most cases, although whole genome amplification was unsuccessful. Rapid, robust DNA isolation, successful amplification of loci from the sample-derived pool, and an elimination of DNA damage and inhibitors may assist in providing sufficient genetic information from cases that might otherwise be in the fringe of what is currently possible to obtain. 19 figures and 52 references
Date Created: August 26, 2010