At Manlove Forensics we provide you with a top quality service in DNA analysis and interpretation. Our forensic scientists have many years experience of interpreting DNA profiles from different items and body fluids and are familiar with DNA results of all levels of complexity, including partial profiles and mixtures.
Where appropriate, we regularly offer an opinion regarding the possible mechanisms of transfer of DNA, whether it be direct or indirect (so-called secondary transfer).
Our forensic scientists are frequently called upon to sample and resample items for DNA analysis, the results normally being ready after two weeks. We are able to provide you with a 48 hour turn-around time from sample submission to DNA result in the most urgent of cases.
We are glad to provide you with DNA reference sampling kits free of charge so you can take mouth swabs; we then arrange the efficient processing of your sample.
We also have expertise in more specialised areas of DNA profiling such as Low Copy Number (LCN) analysis. The title Low Copy Number or LCN DNA is a technique of DNA analysis that attempts to amplify and identify extremely small quantities of DNA. This involves running the sample under test through a number of additional cycles in comparison with 'standard' DNA analysis. This technique is most commonly used to analyse samples for ‘touch DNA' where an individual has made contact with a given item.
Due to the fact that minute quantities of DNA are being analysed, there are a number of challenges presented to the forensic scientist. The interpretation of Low Copy Number DNA results can often be challenging as it is very common for the results to be incomplete (partial) and/or be mixtures of DNA from more than one person. It is also not possible to attribute any LCN DNA result obtained to a specific body fluid due to the very low levels of DNA being analysed.
It is very important that this evidence type is interpreted accurately and adequate checks are made to ensure that the analytical scientist has presented the evidence correctly. We are frequently called upon to carry out such checks and review DNA results in the context of the case; we are highly experienced in this challenging area.
In addition to LCN, other, equally sensitive DNA profiling techniques have been developed that can amplify very small amounts of DNA within a sample, by using specialist analytical techniques that do not necessarily involve additional cycles of the analytical stage of the techniques. This means that many of the problems with interpretation are reduced in comparison with LCN DNA. We can have these analytical tests carried out in cases where they would be of assistance.
Y-STR analysis is looking at DNA on the Y-chromosome, which is only found in male individuals. This technique can be very useful in cases of sexual assault. Normally, efforts are made to separate the female and male contributions to DNA on an intimate swab. This is often not fully acheived, with representation of female DNA on the male 'fraction' which can often effectively mask any contribution from the male.
As Y-STR is only analysing DNA which could have originated from male individuals, this issue of masking is avoided. The uses of Y-STR are not only restricted to cases of sexual assault; it is useful in all cases where masking by a female contribution of DNA may be a problem to the interpretation of a result.
Because of the way that Y-STR DNA is paternally inherited relatively unchanged, it is likely that males in the same lineage would have the same Y-STR profile.
Mitochondrial DNA analysis, or mtDNA does not look at DNA from the cell nucleus, but from mitochondria, which are effectively the power-houses of cells, creating energy from food. Such analysis can be useful to the forensic scientist as mtDNA is present within high levels within cells, and is useful in the analysis of degraded samples, or those which lack nuclear DNA. Historically, mtDNA has been used to analyse hair, bone and teeth.
We are also able to offer other, more specialist forms of DNA analysis such as minifiler, which looks at smaller lengths of DNA so is useful for the examination of degraded samples. On a similar vein, SNP analysis looks at much smaller amounts of DNA and can even be capable of generating results from samples which have been exposed to very high temperature (burnt).
Please contact us for details of other techniques as DNA technology is constantly evolving with new, improved tests being developed in efforts made towards human identification.