Fiji, an idyllic island country, is 1,300 miles north of New Zealand. The nation’s Police Force and Forensic Biology & DNA Laboratory serve the population of approximately 885,000 people spread across 300 islands.
In 2014, Elizabeth Peters, a forensic biologist in the Forensic Science Services division, took on the task of modernizing and upgrading the Fiji DNA Laboratory to ensure the best tools were available to fight crime.
In this video, Peters describes the efficiencies the laboratory staff experienced when they upgraded their equipment, chemistry and processes to the newest technologies and guidelines available. By automating DNA extraction using Applied Biosystems Prepfiler chemistry, implementing an advanced DNA quantification system and increasing the capacity of their capillary electrophoresis systems, they have decreased their routine casework turnaround time from a full week to a day.
In their new streamlined sexual assault workflow, the lab uses the Applied Biosystems Quantifiler Trio DNA Quantification Kit to triage samples prior to PCR, and selectively uses the Applied Biosystems Yfiler Plus STR Amplification Kit to generate male profiles and a potential number of contributors.
In addition to pursuing accreditation for the lab, which currently follows SWGDAM guidelines, Peters and the Forensic Biology team are developing an educational program for their police force colleagues to create awareness of how appropriately collected DNA evidence can be used to advance investigations.
Watch the video to hear more about the benefits the Fiji Police DNA laboratory has experienced from their workflow upgrades.
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