Separation of Complex DNA Mixtures

Focus Area: Criminalistics

Description:Terrorists and criminals frequently leave DNA evidence at crime scenes or other locations that can be used to identify them and where they have been. The DNA identification techniques are now so powerful and sensitive that multiple sources of DNA are often found in a sample. This usually prevents a positive identification of any of the persons who are a source of the DNA in the mixture. If the DNA can be separated and then analyzed, these mixed samples can provide an incredible amount of evidence and intelligence value. The Bode Technology Group is developing a procedure that separates samples with multiple sources of DNA. The process will then allow individual DNA profiles to be obtained for each of the different DNA sources, resulting in a positive identification of all the contributors. The procedure will work on samples with as many as eight different DNA sources and have a relatively rapid turnaround. Computational analysis methods will be included in the overall process to provide resolving power. The project will also ensure that the procedures developed will meet the Daubert legal standards to make the results admissible in court.

Project Cost: $705,000

Project Duration: 18 months

Operational Impact: All persons in a mixed DNA sample will be profiled and identified, something that was not previously possible

Deliverable: A scientifically validated procedure for separating complex DNA mixtures

Performer: The Bode Technology Group

End Users: U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and Intelligence Community

Transition: Dissemination through the forensic community