BSO’s Crime Lab Acquires New Instrument in Forensic Genetic Genealogy

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory acquired a new instrument in Forensic Genetic Genealogy just in time for National Forensic Science Week. Genetic genealogists use deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profiles from a crime scene or unidentified human remains to identify close genetic DNA profiles or matches.

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BSO’s Crime Lab purchased the MiSeq FGx Sequencing System a month ago. This instrument sequences a multitude of areas of DNA instead of just measuring the lengths of the areas, which can provide more information about the DNA in each sample. The areas include discriminating information such as physical appearance, including hair color and eye color, and biogeographic ancestry.

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In addition, the data produced by this instrument can also be searched in public databases, such as GEDmatch.com or FamilyTreeDNA.com, using investigative or forensic genetic genealogy to provide potential leads through family relationships to help aid investigations of homicides, sexual assaults, acts of terrorism, or identify human remains. For example, this tool can be used to identify remains by tying the DNA to a family with a missing person or pointing to the likely identity of a perpetrator.

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BSO’s Crime Laboratory is currently validating the instrument and training its analysts in the use of the instrument, as well as performing forensic genetic genealogy. This new resource speaks of BSO’s forensic scientists’ commitment in their quest to elevate their technical expertise to serve the needs of the criminal justice community in Broward County.

National Forensic Science Week takes place from Sept.18-24. During that time, various events take place to advocate and educate about how new technologies, new methodologies, and discoveries are changing how investigations are conducted.

THIS REPORT BY:
Claudinne Caro/PIO


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