FBI Approves DNA Detection Kit to Genetically Identify Male Perpetrators of Sexual Assault
Published: Sep 21, 2017
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has granted approval for forensic laboratories to upload genetic profiles to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database that have been generated with the Thermo Fisher Scientific Applied Biosystems Yfiler Plus PCR Amplification Kit. The agency's decision was based on data submitted by the Phoenix, Ariz., police department, which validated the solution that is designed to detect male-specific Y chromosome markers to help solve crimes, especially sexual assault cases.
Analysis using the Yfiler Plus Kit focuses on detecting Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) found on the Y chromosome that are only carried by male individuals. For forensic laboratories, the most common application of Y-STRs is in criminal cases such as sexual assault, where evidence samples taken from crime scenes are difficult to solve with traditional autosomal STR analysis due to low amounts of male DNA present in a high background of female DNA.
Y-STR analysis is also a valuable tool to trace familial relationships among males to help identify missing persons and to assess paternal relationships when the alleged father is not accessible. Last year, the same technology from Thermo Fisher helped law enforcement agencies in Western China and South Los Angelessolve two high-profile rape and murder cases, each of which had gone cold for 30 years. Y-STR analysis identified the two men associated with the violent crimes and resulted in their arrest.
"Forensic customers need tools with high information recovery and premium performance for their casework," said Rosy Lee, vice president and general manager of human identification for Thermo Fisher Scientific. "The Yfiler Plus Kit was designed to meet these needs as evidenced by the role this chemistry has played to help solve many cases globally, including some of the most brutal and confounding crimes that remained unsolved for decades."
Managed by the National DNA Index System (NDIS), CODIS facilitates the electronic comparison and exchange of DNA profiles between participating local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories. While approval of the Yfiler Plus Kit primarily applies to the U.S. forensic community, many other countries follow the FBI's guidance.
DNA databases play a crucial role in helping to identify the perpetrators of violent crimes. Without the ability to store genetic profiles and screen them against samples recovered from crime scenes, many cases would go unsolved, and criminals would likely remain free. With NDIS approval, the Yfiler Plus Kit further enhances profile uploading and database searching capabilities to help solve crimes.
The Yfiler Plus Kit, an upgrade of the previously NDIS-approved Yfiler Kit, leverages the latest 6-dye technology with improved sensitivity and inhibition robustness, as well as a larger number of Y chromosome STR loci to maximize information recovery. The additional loci, especially those that rapidly mutate, provide higher discriminating power to differentiate male lineages and even close male relatives.
For more than 25 years, Thermo Fisher Scientific's Applied Biosystems innovations have enabled forensic scientists to maximize their use of DNA to establish identity and solve crimes. Today, the company offers the field's most trusted forensic solutions for human identification (HID) testing and is the only company that designs and validates its reagents, instruments, and data analysis software together as an integrated system for HID testing.
To learn more, please visit http://www.thermofisher.com/ystr.
About Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of more than $20 billion and approximately 65,000 employees globally. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We help our customers accelerate life sciences research, solve complex analytical challenges, improve patient diagnostics, deliver medicines to market and increase laboratory productivity. Through our premier brands Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services we offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and comprehensive services. For more information, please visit www.thermofisher.com.
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