University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Division

Project Title

Touch DNA: An Evaluation of a Novel Collection Method

Presenter Hometown

Knoxville, TN

Major

Forensic Science

Department

Chemistry

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Dr. Jamie Fredericks

Mentor Department

Chemistry

Abstract

Touch DNA is DNA that has been left behind when an individual has handled an object. Obtaining a DNA profile from touch DNA can be challenging. When an individual handles an object only a small amount of DNA is deposited. Therefore, it is important that all DNA from the source is collected for STR amplification. There are numerous variables, including the shedding potential of the individual, the pressure applied, or surface type of the object being touched, that can influence the amount of DNA present. In addition, choosing the right collection method, extraction method or STR amplification kit may also influence the likelihood of successfully amplifying a DNA profile. Direct PCR has focused on genotyping samples from source, reducing the time of analysis and the amount of DNA lost (from sample transfer) during the extraction and purification processes of traditional methods. A novel collection method was investigated to determine whether it could improve analysis of touch DNA through a Direct STR PCR protocol. This study demonstrates that the new collection protocol may have the potential to increase the number of alleles successfully amplified. On average 86 % of alleles were observed using the new protocol. In comparison, 67 % alleles were successfully amplified using the traditional methods.

Presentation format

Poster

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Touch DNA: An Evaluation of a Novel Collection Method

Touch DNA is DNA that has been left behind when an individual has handled an object. Obtaining a DNA profile from touch DNA can be challenging. When an individual handles an object only a small amount of DNA is deposited. Therefore, it is important that all DNA from the source is collected for STR amplification. There are numerous variables, including the shedding potential of the individual, the pressure applied, or surface type of the object being touched, that can influence the amount of DNA present. In addition, choosing the right collection method, extraction method or STR amplification kit may also influence the likelihood of successfully amplifying a DNA profile. Direct PCR has focused on genotyping samples from source, reducing the time of analysis and the amount of DNA lost (from sample transfer) during the extraction and purification processes of traditional methods. A novel collection method was investigated to determine whether it could improve analysis of touch DNA through a Direct STR PCR protocol. This study demonstrates that the new collection protocol may have the potential to increase the number of alleles successfully amplified. On average 86 % of alleles were observed using the new protocol. In comparison, 67 % alleles were successfully amplified using the traditional methods.