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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Need for Analysis in a Different Technology

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Need for Analysis in a Different Technology

gloved hands filling a test tube
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

A governmental laboratory may outsource casework to a laboratory offering analysis in a technology for which the government laboratory is not proficient. Examples of this type of analysis include Y chromosome (Y-STR), mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), paternity and other specialty testing. Most governmental laboratories conduct nuclear STR DNA analysis, but on a case-by-case basis, they may need to outsource the analysis for one or more specialty testing methods that they lack the ability to perform. The governmental laboratory may decide that the number of cases involving specialized analysis is not significant enough to justify the expense of providing these services in-house. To be fiscally responsible, laboratories will temporarily use another facility to fill these needs.

Requests to Observe the Analysis

There are occasions when a laboratory receives a request to have the analysis observed by another expert. Most public crime laboratories are not set up to adequately accommodate these requests for liability purposes and the confidentiality of other cases. There are private DNA laboratories that are set up with viewing areas and allow for observing the analysis.


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