Today, the National DNA Index System (NDIS) contains more than 6 million offender DNA profiles. The types of offenders in the database are no longer limited to violent criminals, and now include the DNA of individuals who have been convicted of numerous non-violent felonies, including drug possession, burglary, and robbery. Further expansion is expected in the next 5 years, as states continue to pass legislation that allows for the collection of DNA from felony arrestees and for an expanded list of offenses. A number of countries outside of the U.S. are also in the process of expanding their forensic DNA databases, or are starting to develop one.
To keep up with the increase in the number of DNA database samples requiring analysis, many laboratories have implemented automation into their workflow. Significant strides have been made, but critical process bottlenecks remain, such as DNA extraction and data analysis, and many laboratories require additional efficiencies in order to address the growing number of database samples being collected by law enforcement.
The AmpFℓSTR® Identifiler® Direct PCR Amplification Kit has been developed specifically to address the DNA extraction and purification bottleneck. The Identifiler® Direct kit amplifies the 16 loci included in the Identifiler® kit from single source samples spotted on FTA® cards, without the need to perform any DNA extraction or purification. Blood or buccal samples on FTA® cards can be punched into PCR plates or tubes, and taken directly to PCR amplification, without any loss in resulting data quality. By eliminating the tedious steps involved in DNA extraction and purification, automation of the process becomes much easier, and requires a less sophisticated and less expensive robot. While the time to result is greatly reduced, so is the potential for sample contamination or other procedural errors that can occur during the process.
Ultimately, laboratories using the Identifiler® Direct kit will be able to significantly expand their throughput capabilities, while also maximizing sample integrity and quality assurance for the entire process.