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DNA Amplification for Forensic Analysts


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There are numerous processes that laboratories can establish to minimize the risk of contamination. It is important for each laboratory to assess their specific needs both technically and administratively prior to establishing a process.

Laboratories must demonstrate that they have a facility that is designed to minimize contamination. This may include restricting the movement of staff, equipment, and consumables between pre- and post-amplification areas.

Read Section 6, Facilities, of the QAS.

Some additional processes include:

  • Staff training
  • Quality control testing of reagents and consumables
  • Storage and treatment of consumables
  • Implementation of clean techniques05

Read more about Laboratory Orientation in course: Laboratory Orientation and Testing of Body Fluids and Tissues.


Laboratory managers should ensure that all laboratory personnel are appropriately trained in the handling and processing of evidence and samples from those arrested or convicted of a crime, in regard to DNA analysis.  Providing biological evidence collection training to crime scene response staff and investigators can help ensure that they have an appreciation of DNA contamination issues.

The training should stress that the most effective means of protecting evidence from contamination from investigators and laboratory staff is to use personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, gowns, and masks. In general, universal precaution methods not only protect the investigator and analyst but also ensure that the evidence is protected from contamination by handlers.

Read more about safety in course: Safety.

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