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RTI Launches New Spectral Database for Forensic Laboratories, Research and Law Enforcement

Published: Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 08, 2010
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RTI International, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), has created 'Forensic DB', a cheminformatics database for the retention, review, and ongoing collection of spectroscopic data pertaining to toxins, drugs, and other compounds of interest to the forensics community.

acdlabslogo1 copy.gifThe database is built using software technology from ACD/Labs.

DART ionization (Direct Analysis in Real Time), requiring minimal sample preparation, is emerging as a significant tool in forensic toxicology and drug analysis. Initially intent on sharing DART-MS data alone, RTI sought to have custom databasing software developed. Upon learning about the collective functionality of ACD/Labs' SpecManager, ChemFolder, and Web Librarian, the project managers expanded the scope of the database beyond JEOL AccuTOF DART-MS data to include FTIR, EI-MS, and accurate mass for widespread access, review, updates, and reporting.

"ACD/Labs provided the tools necessary to host the data and manage a system wherein new data will be peer reviewed before it is made public," says Forensics DB curator Peter Stout, Ph.D. D-ABFT. “It has expanded the scope and functionality of the original project significantly.”

ACD/Labs software allows for the creation of relational databases of analytical spectra, data, chemical structures, and properties with powerful searching capabilities and accessibility features. ACD/Web Librarian enables remote viewing of the database, requiring only an internet connection. Users can upload spectra to search for matching examples, perform structure and substructure queries, as well as generate reports.

Currently, the Forensic DB includes the American Academy of Forensic Sciences' (AAFS) mass spectroscopy database of new drugs and metabolite standards developed by their toxicology division. As the number of contributing users and labs grows, the database will become a comprehensive compendium of toxins, pharmaceuticals, and illicit substances for use by forensic laboratories, researchers, and law enforcement.

About RTI: RTI International is one of the world's leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. Our staff of more than 2,800 provides research and technical expertise to governments and businesses in more than 40 countries in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, international development, economic and social policy, energy and the environment, and laboratory and chemistry services.

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