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NIJ and NetBio-Advancing Rapid DNA Analysis: Bringing Automated Short Tandem Repeat Analysis to Forensics

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages

This brief report describes the development and benefits of a Rapid DNA Analysis (RDA) system that is much faster at developing DNA profiles than traditional methods and can be used by a non-technical operator outside a laboratory.


This RDA system was developed by NetBio (Waltham, MA) under a grant from the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The RDA system enables law enforcement agencies to quickly process DNA samples in a police station or laboratory so as to accelerate the criminal investigation process. In 2014, NetBio and GE announced a multi-laboratory developmental validation of the DNAscan RDA system. Leading American and international accredited National DNA Index System(NDIS) participating forensic laboratories are evaluating the system to seek NDIS approval. The RDA has an output rate of 5 DNA samples in 85 minutes. It is based in a single-use, self-contained cassette to minimize the potential for contamination and sample mix-ups. Using the RDA, law enforcement agencies can hold a suspect in custody while running his/her DNA to determine whether it matches DNA evidence from unsolved cases. Since it can be operated by a non-technical person, it is unnecessary to have an in-house DNA expert available.

Date Published: January 1, 2015