Forensic Laboratory Software Application from Applied Biosystems Automates Data Analysis for DNA Results
Product News Dec 13, 2007
Applied Biosystems has announced the availability of a new software application intended to help forensic laboratories deliver fast DNA results by automating routine DNA analysis and facilitating manual review of complex samples.
The new GeneMapper® ID-X software application provides computerized forensic expertise that streamlines the routine review of data required for DNA analysis, eliminating redundant tasks.
By using this software application, forensic analysts are expected to be able to interpret and report more rapidly DNA results to assist in more criminal investigations.
This software application from Applied Biosystems is intended to support the increasing use of DNA in forensic cases. To date, the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) – the national DNA database managed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – has delivered DNA matches that have identified criminals or aided in the investigation of more than 50,000 cases, according to FBI records.
Mounting DNA evidence has created the need for faster DNA analysis. To process the increased flow of DNA samples, forensic analysts have started using expert systems, which are knowledge-based computer programs that contain subject-specific knowledge to analyze data with similar skill as a human expert and identify samples that require further analysis.
The GeneMapper ID-X software application is a system developed with feedback obtained from many of the more than a thousand forensic laboratories that Applied Biosystems supports worldwide.
The new GeneMapper ID-X application’s automated separation of those DNA samples that require manual review from those that do not is expected to reduce laboratory personnel’s routine analytical tasks and increase the productivity and efficiency within forensic laboratories.
Applied Biosystems says that it has incorporated feedback from numerous law enforcement agencies, including the Washington State Patrol and the San Diego Police Department, to define and verify the requirements that the new expert system software was developed to meet in forensic laboratories. These requirements have been evolving to address the growing demands on forensic DNA testing. Currently, forensic laboratories can upload offender samples to DNA databases as a result of expanded legislation. Offender sample testing has been driving the need for expert systems.
“Expert systems in forensic DNA analysis will eventually become essential for every crime lab,” said Gary Shutler, DNA technical leader at the Washington State Patrol. “It is the next step in the evolution of our field. Years from now, we will wonder how we ever worked without one.”
In addition, the San Diego Police Department has experienced a 25 per cent increase in DNA samples to process each year for the past several years, the company says.