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Development of an Integrated Workflow from Laboratory Processing to Report Generation for mtDNA Haplotype Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2011
146 pages
The objective of this project was to develop an integrated workflow from laboratory processing to data management for mtDNA sequence data.
Mitochondrial DNA analysis has proven to be an invaluable tool for victim identification from mass disasters and missing persons programs to criminal casework (Isenberg, 2004). The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) is primarily funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for the Missing Persons Program and uses advanced DNA technologies to process unidentified human remains and the family reference samples from biological relatives for both nuclear DNA (nDNA) and mtDNA. Since most missing persons cases rely heavily on mtDNA testing of skeletal remains, mtDNA testing of reference samples is necessary for making family associations. The resulting DNA profiles are uploaded to the Missing Persons Index database. In this database, mtDNA and nDNA profiles from the unidentified remains can be searched against the biological family reference profiles and associations are recommended through kinship analysis testing. There are several hundred thousand missing persons cases reported each year and there are more than 14,000 unidentified human skeletal remains retained in medical examiners' and coroners' offices nationwide (Rhonda K. Roby et al., 2007). These numbers alone demonstrate the throughput requirements needed for DNA processing.

Date Published: April 1, 2011