SUPA Forensic Conference 11-21-14
SUPA Forensic Conference 11-21-14
SUPA Forensic Conference
THE DNA PARADIGM
Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute
College of Arts and Sciences Syracuse University
ppt developed by JoAnne Pawlowski
• Research and Teaching Interests
• M.S. Forensic Molecular Biology, University at Albany
The intersection of genetic identity, DNA based forensic science and
issues pertaining to national security. Research thrust areas in
molecular biology and genetics addressing applied scientific questions
to the exploitation of biologicals to aid in tagging, tracking locating
targets of interest, DNA based geolocation. Future teaching interests
lie in forensic DNA analysis with focuses on current practices,
innovative applied research, legal/ethical matters and public speaking
• ‘My background as a practicing Forensic Scientist at the Onondaga County Center
for Forensic Sciences has provided a foundation in field based applications of
forensic techniques that bridge the gap between practitioners and the research
community. In this time I was recognized in federal and state courts as an expert
in DNA analysis. I joined the SRC Bioforensics group in pursuit of new challenges
in applied research and development relating to national security and global
threats. With Dr. David Knaebel, we engaged both the intelligence and law
enforcement communities through our innovative biological solutions to complex
problem sets. As a new member of the Syracuse University Forensic and National
Security Sciences Institute I look forward to interacting with faculty, staff and
students through collaborations, research and classroom environments.’
• Michael Marciano, senior scientist
• Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute
• College of Arts and Sciences Syracuse University
How DNA effects the other forensic sciences
What is DNA ?
Forensic DNA analyst: testify in court and analysis of body
Using DNA to geosource
Locard Exchange Principle-basis for evidence left and taken
No perfect crime
BUT limits based on current sciences- some quite sophisticated
Tech today applied to cases years ago
Innocence Project examples
Forensic in FS means adjudication; application to court or judicial system
CSI effect does exist- demands from court /expectations
Therefore unreasonable amount of evidence requested
Pandering to jury with high expectations
Lab services involves many units within science principles
All may be expected to deliver
Forensic labs and accreditation- Nassau County lab closed
DNA raised bar of expectations for other sciences
Accreditation-labs responsible for scientific analysis and testimony
Lab accreditation boards - Pre approval of techniques for court
Scientific working groups on DNA analysis methods
Same for firearms, toolmarks, drugs, hair, blood spatter etc.
Oversight groups are federal..
Working groups now dissolved
Written into law that these organizations have to be present
TIMELINE OF DNA and Forensic Science
1868 Miescher “discovers” DNA
1953 Watson and Crick report double helix structure
1977 First human gene cloned
1985 Jeffreys reports VNTR DNA sequences
1985 First report of PCR method
1986 Jeffreys uses DNA to solve first murder case (Pitchfork case)
1987 First conviction on DNA evidence (Andrews case)
1991 STRs first reported-1998 FBI starts CODIS database
2005 2.5 million DNA “fingerprints” in CODIS
Develop PCR to identify individual
First to testify in court as criminal case
RFLP technology until OJ case
1988 tech group was developed and NY v Castro was decision that required
standardization of laboratory testing procedures in fs
FBI established DNA analysis unit
OJ-Start of rapid evolution of standardization of DNA analysis
Set standard how NOT to testify as in OJ case.
Bruce Weir, Expert.. Google that name
Standard stats to be used.. And 13 core loci
1990 CODIS established
DNA applications and limitations and CODIS:
Loci expanded to 24.. More discrimination
Exoneration or exclusion of a suspect.. Not only inclusion
Corroboration of testimony from witness
Identification of bodies after disasters
First DNA cases; Saratoga NY Sexual assault. Pre CODIS
Described assailant.. Saw lineup.. Convicted went to prison.
Later.. Year or two.. DNA analysis on rape kit
Not the guilty man-.guys looked alike
Will study Thomson and Cotton case
Eye witness testimony still evidence problem
When no comparison in CODIS ..problem
CODIS: still lacking
States differ on who may be typed (not like fp and all arrested)
Profile into CODIS must be typed in 3 x.. Not cut and pasted
Genes into LODIS-local
Then SODIS- state, then NODIS- National-.those are all what is CODIS now
Therefore, Combined- CODIS
List sources of DNA… all possible.
Identify body fluids
What to pick out in room to analyze..
The cost and time for each sample is large.. Must be discriminated
What is touched.. Or put to mouth..
Alternate light sources used: diff wavelengths.. What fluoresces?
Body fluids.. Proteins.. Fatty acids will glow
Single human cell has 6.6 pg of DNA
1 ng of Human DNA = 152 diploid cells
Can get DNA from as little as single copy but want that pg number…
Is there enough material to do a test for presumptive blood? Maybe not..
Then do DNA test.
When DNA extracted.. Want to release it from cell..
Do laundry.. Take shirt with blood stain .. Want stain but not shirt..
Keep dirty water..
DNA free floating in it.. How it may be done
Do PCR in cycles
38th cycle.. 536 million copies
7 and 8 repeats
Amplify these targets
Inheritance of STR locus: paternal types 5,6 maternal types, 4,7 see in textbook
Child can be any variety of combinations of these
Did OJ do it? RFLP results not useful
PCR yielded more samples
First generation of testing faulty so certainty lacking
All 13 STRs may not have been run
Couldn’t justify that lab had done
This data would give completely different results today
Defense team tore up DNA experts- this alone justified acquittal
Mixtures of DNA samples? How handled?
DNA, firearms, all trace evidence used to determine
who has best evidence.. If limited
Latent print analysis less successful than believed
Presence of a fp..bare hands
Oils and aa , skin clings on print
Can get DNA
Fire Debris Analysis
Despite a potential loss, some DNA can remain on explosives and fire starters
Even if detonated
DNA more powerful evidence than any other
Drug chemistry and DNA
Identification of illegal drugs
Drug e.g. cocaine- plant DNA source may be identified
Distributors touched the bag
Subway bombing in Madrid- read case- DNA did what ?
70% of people are shedders.. 30% are not
Mt DNA -Maternal -useful for degraded DNA samples
Y chromosome STRS- Paternal inheritance
Useful for mixtures or aspermatic samples
Used to determine male lineages
Low template DNA- obtain profiles from samples with few cells
NYC good at this- why?
Used on Lil’ Wayne gun case- ‘low copy’
Take sample from gun.. Type many samples
Or one allele amplifies well.. Then do PCR
DNA from hair.. Without root tissue not as good
Non rooted hair.. Mt DNA shows maternal lineage
Jesse James and Oetzi the iceman
Super Bowl footballs- DNA testing certifies authenticity
Human genetic code of athletes- Australia
Added to ink used to mark all official goods- authenticity
Include in original artwork -artist DNA
Snowball the cat.. Mt DNA
Can get your profile on the wall
John Butler (not musician)Forensic DNA typing tests
criminalistics- Keith Inman and Norah Rudin
Inman org site
Results analyzed thorough many
trials and reviews
Cost: PCR kit. $4k/ kit.. One sample
reagent control- $1000
Some evidence in case may have
100 or more samples - EXPENSIVE
Defense team lab work?
Many times defense defers to DNA
lab tests rarely disputed that DNA
But circumstances differ
e.g. Not rape- consensual.
He was at party/cut himself cutting
PCR process targets only human DNA …
that’s it how it can be distinguished from cat or dog or plant
How to determine if DNA is recent or old? Has been there on item??
Most DNA on item is probably last touched.. Or handled.
Samples preserved in perpetuity. Never destroyed….
‘Outside the box’ of criminology addressed by DNA analysis
Bioforensics Solutions Lab:
Geolocation.. Travel history of individuals, plant sources, genetic Identity.
Individual and population specific
And Exposure.. Environmental Conditions.. Experienced.. Epigenetics
As an organism grows and develops, carefully orchestrated chemical reactions
activate and deactivate parts of the genome at strategic times and in specific
Epigenetics is the study of these chemical reactions and the factors that influence
them. (Taken from Learn.Genetics)
Awesome..EPIGENETICALLY can distinguish between identical twins.
ALL life ..
Wine/ grape genetics.. Powerful.. Agricultural applications.. Infectious diseases.. Etc.
Thoroughbred horses, mosquito bites.. Carrier, our own DNA in insect populations
from blood bites.
Robotics enables science to handle DNA
Next Generation Sequencer
Generating 50 mega bases.. Takes no time now.. Would have taken 50 years..
Human genome examination. Very practical. Cheaper.
High resolution melts.. Rapid.. Simple and low cost..rather capillary electro
Use PCR/HRM.. Expensive though.
High Res Melt. Used to thermally separate double stranded DNA..
At hydrogen bonds..energy required to break bonds and sequence of bases
will create a unique signature
Makes a melting profile
Next generation seq data is informative and will be next processing in
Has been decoded -computers have to handle data
Universal DNA typing scenario
Strange things in world..
Lets say weapons cache found in Pakistan
But this is not Pakistany in origin
Universal DNA typing could be a large project
Able to leverage DNA to determine origin and exchange of a particular
cache of weapon
Leverage all generic information
Handling a package or anything.. Direct contact.. Leave DNA
Pollen, fp on tape.. Biological fluids on packaging.. Dog hair..
All exterior surfaces may be hot
Can determine origin of item, travel routes, corroborating evidence.
Applied to some plants in Colombia- Coca plants… marijuana
DNA of plants may be traces to fields and travel distribution.
Have material or person of concern
Have particulates of concern pollen or plant.
Remove DNA do PCR or HRM based plant ID.
Then get computational information.
Can see dispersal of these plants. Trafficking, routes,
follow the DNA.
Proof of Concept:
Used shoes to test this project
‘operation shoe phone’
Took shoe at beginning of work day.
Decontaminate with bleach and alcohol and walked
around with shoe at work all day.
Take sample of shoe and find unique signatures.
They sample plants and animals to determine track.
One person stayed in building but all others went out
Do not extend to prokaryotes. Too complex
Stuck to eukaryotes.. Specifically plants and animals
Results.. Found each of species present in each shoe.
Number of species of plant and animals. Similar.
42 % plants.. 58 % animal
59 million bases of sequences
can use universal DNA profiling to distinguish geographical areas.
Physical GEOLOCATION SYSTEM:
Bio information that are entrapped on person or thing as they travel
Rapid analysis of unique DNA fp of particulates
Spatial Decision Support System
Travel routes based on public data, private routes and indicator species
USE specific local fauna or flora
Use Google Earth to map the routes.
Amount of ecological data is in Google site
(countries like Syria, China, Eastern Europe not as good data)
DNA mixture Interpretation
Enhance ability to separate contributors to mixtures
Increased sensitivity of these kits. Helps to detect single cell scenarios .. SO sensitive
BUT with mixtures, comes difficult interpretations
Can apply to agriculture
Risk to national security is food import and water… disease can be carried so easily
could wipe out crops quickly
DNA has a mixture when gathered in environment.
What is the max number of alleles an individual can have.. 2 max
One from each parent.
Two copies could be same allele elements
Peak heights proportional to amount of DNA in sample.
May use machine learning or artificial intelligence
Train a computer to index/ identify that we cannot .
How does it work? Have a question. Will it rain tomorrow?
We ask ourselves a series of ?s. Is pressure dropping.
Did it rain today or yesterday? Direction of wind? Etc..
Computer program written to rate the ?s and evaluate this.. Indexing..
Threshold set by system to value each answer to ?s.. Decision is made.
All this to ask.. Who are the individual donors of the mixture of DNA?
Programs try to capture human and computer interpretation
Touch DNA analysis
What is the item.. Sponge? Or glass item or handgun with friction ridges on grips? This matters
Matte or smooth surface?
How is handled? How is item gripped or treated.? What are you doing with it?
Shedder or non shedder is person?
Duration of handling?
(last to touch or one who touches most)
Environment heat? Humidity sunlight ?
Owner of item
Domestic or work or outdoor?
The bottleneck is time and resources. Due to all factors here
NOT practical in lab
Have all items and kitchen sink
This project tries to optimize sampling method..
Used variety of ways to extract DNA .. None appropriate for all . So use different methods to cover possibilities
Touch DNA analysis
Illegal materials cross into US..
Effort to prevent entering to country
Forensic Analysis may be used to provide intelligence to
Custom handlers involved
basic science, justice system, and national security
Can identify high impact and successful research
Where interests intersect:
Not just forensics and not just basic academic research