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Taking criminals off the streets

FBI-approved DNA testing offers unrivaled 24 genetic markers


He was considered a violent and dangerous man, but his time on the run proved to be short-lived.

After allegedly sexually assaulting a woman on a Saturday morning in Scottsdale, Ariz., last September, he was identified by Sunday and apprehended by Monday, thanks to new technology for criminal forensic testing used by the Scottsdale Police Department.

That technology - the GlobalFiler Express PCR Amplification Kit– arrived on the market less than one year before the crime took place, and it may have prevented even more assaults in the region. The product is optimized to process samples taken from a single source, such as a cheek swab, and return a profile in less than two hours. 

By securing evidence at the scene of the attack, investigators were able to match the suspect’s DNA to a profile in the state’s database, since he had previously been arrested for aggravated robbery. The lab-made a positive match in one-third of the time traditional methods would have taken.

The GlobalFiler kit, which is designed to draw profiles from samples containing mixtures of more than one contributor’s DNA, and the GlobalFiler Express kits provide law enforcement with faster and more cost-effective methods for solving crimes. Faced with ever-expanding case backlogs, crime labs using these kits benefit from proprietary 6-Dye™ chemistry that enables more samples to be processed for DNA analysis in a shorter period of time. Unlike other DNA testing kits that interrogate only 13 genetic markers against a database, the GlobalFiler offers an unrivaled 24. What’s more, the kit is capable of identifying culprits even when samples are compromised by other substances—even other people’s DNA.

While this technology is critical in individual cases, such as this sexual assault in Scottsdale, its reach goes well beyond the local police station or forensics lab. Last October, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) approved the GlobalFiler Express Kit, enabling labs to upload genetic profiles collected from crime scenes to the National DNA Index System (NDIS). Most recently, the FBI also approved the GlobalFiler Kit for the same purpose in June, making it the only kit of its type to be adopted by the agency. 

DNA profiles generated by laboratories using these kits can be exchanged with other labs in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System CODIS database, which is managed by NDIS. In other words, more information is available to solve crimes more efficiently in the United States and around the world as other nations have begun to implement similar criminal databases. To date, 46 countries have implemented criminal offender DNA database programs with a combined offender sample pool of 50 million and growing. 

The final result? A community of citizens who could breathe a little easier, as at least one violent man was taken off the street. As additional forensics agencies acquire enhanced technology for rapid DNA testing and matching, public safety will continue to benefit, crimes may get solved more quickly and communities become safer as dangerous criminals are apprehended. 

Police record along with some forensic evidence of murder at Laboratory forensic equipment, conceptual image

“Unlike other DNA testing kits that interrogate only 13 genetic markers against a database, the GlobalFiler offers an unrivaled 24."