Development, present state and prospects of DNA analysis in the state criminal investigation department of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
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Following a judgement of the federal High Court of Justice on the admissibility of DNA analysis in criminal proceedings the division of Forensic Biology of the Forensic Institute of the State Criminal Investigation Department of Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania began carrying out DNA analysis of traces as part of investigation routines in August 1996. Prior to that, this methodology had been built up and validated for about a year. At the beginning, only two autosomal DNA systems were analysed, a further six were added until May 1997. At that point in time, the division employed two technical assistants and one expert. \n 1997 575 traces and materials for comparison were collected and a total of 2,277 amplifications were carried out. In March 1997 the Criminal Proceedings Law Amendment Act regarding DNA analysis established a clear-cut legal base for molecular genatic investigations in federal Germany: from now on a judge will have to order DNA analysis investigations of traces and personal material in criminal proceedings. In March 1995 a nationwide DNA analysis database (DAD) was established at the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (E5K.A). This requiered a change in the methods of analysis. To meet the criteria for Input Into and searches within the database, two ABI PRISM ® Genetic Analysers 310 were purchased from Applied Ecosystems. This Increased the number of autosomal DNA systems analysed in our laboratory to twelve, including the five core systems of the nationwide DNA analysis database. Since August 1996 the state of Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania has contributed inputs for and searched traces and personal data files in the DAD. Some 285,000 data sets have so far been included in the nationwide DAD, of which about 4,000 from our own laboratory. Today we are in a position to carry out DNA analyses of the following trace materials: blood, saliva, sperm, vaginal epithelial cells, skin epithelial cells, urine, tissue and faeces. Four AE3I PRISM® Genetic Analysers 310 from Applied Biosystems are available for these investigations. The division now employs two experts, four assistants and one administrative assistant. Routine investigations cover seventeen autosomal DNA systems, six YSTRs as well as amelogenine. In 2002 some 4,400 traces and materials for comparison were collected. Also, nearly 11,000 amplifications were carried out. For the future it is Intended to add morphological and DNA analytical investigations of hairs to our analytical spectrum. The examination of trace materials with a low content of DNA or with partly degenerated DNA shall be improved by introducing real time FCK. There are also plans to extend investigations of Y-chromosomal systems in cases of rape and of sexual assaults. Technical necessities for such investigations shall be provided in a new building for our institute in 2006.
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