Low template DNA profiling for forensic human identification

SIEF supports John Stocker Postgraduate Scholar to study low template DNA profiling for forensic human identification.

Fingerprints on a surface.

Extracting DNA profiles in fingerprints.

The challenge

Traces of DNA profiles in fingerprints are frequently too small to be of any value to forensic researchers because a high percentage of DNA is often lost through standard extraction procedures.

The response

A SIEF John Stocker Postgraduate Scholarship supported Dr Jennifer Templeton, to identify a methodology—direct polymerase chain reaction (‘direct PCR’)—capable of obtaining DNA profiles from finger marks on a variety of substrates including wood, glass, and metal. The method was shown to be reliable and reproducible, with a faster turnaround, reduced contamination, and higher success rate in meeting standards required for uploading data to the Australian DNA Database than standard methods.

The collaboration

The research was a successful collaboration between Flinders University and Forensic Science South Australia. Dr Templeton was supervised by Forensic Science expert Professor Adrian Linacre at Flinders University.

The impact

The outcomes of this project will have important projected impacts, including:

  • Offering a methodology that is more reliable, robust, and reproducible; thus, reducing error rates and improving the efficiency of a variety of forensic analysis resources.
  • Supporting the career development of Dr Jennifer Templeton, an Australian early career researcher, in the field of forensic science; as well as providing training in science communication and publishing.

Download: Low template DNA profiling for forensic human identification [pdf · 345kb]