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Measures Put in Place to Mitigate DNA Contamination 12 MITIGATION OF DNA CONTAMINATION [Yubo He] [Forensic Year 2] [Nottingham Tret University] Table of Contents Introduction 2 Sources of Contaminants That Give Rise to an Incorrect DNA Profile Being Obtained from A Crime Scene Sample. 3 Crime Scene Contaminants. 3 DNA Contamination During Extraction 3 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Amplification Contaminants. 4 Measures Taken to Reduce PCR Contaminants 5 Crime Scene 6 Analyzing Equipments 7 Collection and Packaging 7 Transportation of The Evidence 7 Crime laboratory analysis 8 Conclusion 8 Reference List 10 Introduction Over the past thirty years, forensic science has dominated the administration of justice in courts of law due to its proliferating application in crime investigation through the use of DNA as the primary sample collected from the crime scene. Ghincea (2012) define deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the molecule that define the organic code of organisms which contains two polynucleotide manacles which form a dual helix that transfer inherent orders of the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of organisms and viruses. He states that DNA molecule is present in living organisms including animals, plants, protists, archaea and bacteria (Ghincea 2012). DNA profiling is the comparison of characteristics in individuals that help assess their involvement in a crime. Forensic science is applied during criminal investigations to determine the perpetrator of a crime by analyzing physical evidences such fingerprints, blood, and DNA. Forensic analysts get DNA samples from sources like blood, semen, hair root, feces, bones teeth, cells, and tissues. Contamination of DNA occurs when irrelevant DNAs gets to mix with the DNA that is relevant to a particular case. (Ribaux et al, 2003, pp.47-60) An over view of DNA Contamination ( Peyrégne & Prüfer, 2020, p.2000081) Sources of Contaminants That Give Rise to an Incorrect DNA Profile Being Obtained from A Crime Scene Sample. Crime Scene Contaminants. According to Fisher and Fisher (2012) contamination of a crime scene is most established when there are many forensic personnel at the site or many people entering the scene. hair, fibers or trace material deposits from clothing, fingerprints or even footwear can contaminate the DNA sample. They affirm than when an individual enters a crime scene they not only carry important DNA evidence but they also leave their DNA in the site. Single hairs and perspiration deposited by a person entering the crime scene can potentially contaminate the evidence leading to exclusion of a viable suspect of the crime (Fisher & Fisher, 2012). Additionally, environmental conditions such as wind, sun, rain, snow and temperature play major roles in the contamination and destruction of the evidence at a crime scene. For example, blood from an open-air scene can by contaminated by rain and sun rays. Wind can blow away important DNA evidence making the analysis of the evidence to give inaccurate results that can mislead judgement of a case. Likewise, the indoor crime scene can also be contaminated by the individuals entering and leaving the crime scene (Fisher & Fisher 2012) DNA Contamination During Extraction DiFonzo ( 2004, p. 1205) says that DNA profile contamination may occur when it is being collected, transported and even during the analysis. Mishandling of the DNA profile by mislabeling leads to contamination and even failure of the whole analyzing process. During extraction and packaging the DNA sample can be contaminated by the biological materials present at the time of examination of the sample. Examiners gloves may contaminate the sample of not changed tampering with the whole process of administering of justice (DiFonzo, 2004, p. 1205). Laboratory staff may cause DNA profile contamination while conducting the analysis, during its interpretation and even they may enter wrong DNA profile results to the database system. Poor quantity and quality of the DNA profile samples will give poor and uncertain results. Still poor quantity of the DNA profile will tend to give poor results as the sample may have been contaminated with other people’s DNAs. the analysis of poor quality DNA samples may lead to uncertain results which may require extensive interpretation by the forensic analysts, and the potential for human error or the change in opinions in the interpretation of the results ( Van Oorschot, 2010, pp.1-17) Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Amplification Contaminants. Short tandem repeat (STR) loci involves repetitive components of 3-7 nucleotides which are plentiful in the human genome and are greatly polymorphic in size, they also vary in the sequences of the repetitive elements. carry-over contamination may occur in Polymerase chain reaction PCR-based incase the amplification products of one test are carried over into the mix for a subsequent Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. PCR has the power of analyzing very small quantities of DNA and contaminants can cause wrong results. Other sources of contamination include genomic contamination contaminating RNA samples, cross-contamination amongst diverse nucleic acid samples processed concurrently, laboratory contamination of cloned target sequences (genomic DNA or cDNA). (Dorak, 2007) STR DNA Analysis for Human Cell Line Authentication Measures Taken to Reduce PCR Contaminants Geraghty et al (2014, pp.1021-1046) explain that clean laboratory will enhance the quality of the results. Appropriate laboratory practices such as wearing uncontaminated or clean gloves at all times will significantly lessen the possibility of contamination. In order to reduce carry-over products from other PCR reactions, aerosol-free pipette tips should be used. Set aside pipettes and solutions should be effectively put to use, and preserving separate spaces to handle pre-PCR and post-PCR solutions and samples. In the entire PCR applications, it is necessary to include appropriate positive-control and negative-control responses to safeguard against systemic contamination of PCR reagents to ensure that the preferred amplicon is formed in positive reactions. (Geraghty et al , 2014, pp. 1021-1046). Crime Scene Adams et al (2020, p. e0243226) says that the possibility of contaminating all crime scenes can be reduced by systematically safeguarding the scene. Subsequently, defining the dimensionality of the scene ought to be given the first priority. All that which is to be safeguarded is that which is recognized ads part the scene. The easier scenes to secure are the indoors scenes due the virtue of them being enclosed. Outdoor scenes, on the other hand, are more challenging to safeguard due to the issues related to crowding and bad weather and require more personnel in order for them to be secure. To reduce contamination of a crime scene a yellow barrier tape which is marked by crime scene or police line words and additional words do not cross is to be used to mark the perimeter of the scene. Physical barriers are also necessary to restrict the public and other law enforcers from entering the crime scene (Adams et al,2020, p. e0243226). Land markings with attached signs assist in preventing and reducing contamination risks. A major crime may require paramedics, firemen, family, friends, neighbors, patrol officers, investigators, supervisors, crime scene personnel, medical examiners or coroners all to be present at the scene. Family pets should also be prevented from tampering with the evidence since it can it can carry evidence and transfer it to a different location away from the crime scene (Adams et al,2020, p. e0243226). Analyzing Equipments Processing and analyzing the equipments could be sources of contamination in a crime scene. The crime scene personnel should be aware of such contamination and ensure that they decontaminate equipments before and after the extraction of samples. They should decontaminate their clothing, photography equipment, note pads, sketching equipment and all processing equipment in their crime scene kits. This will be effective by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and a decontamination zone. Decontamination involves the removal of the personal protective and the wiping of the equipments with 10% bleach solution (Peyrégne & Prüfer, 2020, p.2000081). Collection and Packaging Spinello (1995) asserts that new containers should be used to package the evidence to prevent it from contamination of destruction. Packaging containers should be sealed at the crime and labelled for easier identification of the sample. Packaging equipment should be sterilized in order to reduce contamination. Handling of the samples in the laboratories is very critical. Laboratory items should be dried with biological fluids to reduces any risk of contaminating the samples. It should be noted that wet objects from the crime scene should not be dried. The wet evidence is to be sealed in a plastic container which stops the fluid from leaking. Sealed Wet evidence is to be dried in a vented hood (Spinello, 1995) Transportation of The Evidence To prevent the personnel’s perspiration from contaminating the biological evidence gloves are to be worn (Lee et al, 1998, pp. 10-18). In open top plastic container should be used to transport the leaking biological evidence. The ability to momentarily store the evidence in a safe facility, far from other items in a temperature precise environment must be present, if the conditions are not good enough for the evidence, it have to be transported to the crime laboratory straightaway. The store for the biological evidence should be secure and there should be limited access to these areas during the weekend or after work hours (Lee et al, 1998, pp. 10-18). Crime laboratory analysis The sign in area of forensic laboratory the facility where evidence is submitted for analysis, considering that all the evidence is submitted in this area it is possible to contaminate evidence. The area should be decontaminated many times due to leakages of different biological evidence. after the analysis the containers and to be sealed in order to prevent contamination incase further evidence examination will be required in the future(Lee et al, 1998, pp. 10-18). Conclusion It is evident that it require a lot of measures to eliminate DNA contamination incidents entirely, bearing in mind the prevalence of human DNA within the living and working locations, and the issue of DNA contamination is heightened by the growing sensitivity of DNA analytical procedures. Consequently, actual DNA anti-contamination process necessitates a combination of strategies both to lessen the risk of occurrence and to capitalize on the capacity to detect contamination when it happens. proper collection of evidence from the scene, handling and packaging it correctly during transportation and storage and decontaminating produce will ensure that the cases of biological evidence will significantly decrease. Accordingly, the maladministration of justice will be mitigated and the integrity of judicial system will be upheld. Law enforcers and forensic specialists should be provided with education and training on how to reduce the risk of contamination as well as the impacts of the criminal investigations. Reference List Adams, D., Paterson, H.M. and MacDougall, H.G., 2020. Law and (rec) order: Updating memory for criminal events with body-worn cameras. Plos one, 15(12), p.e0243226. DiFonzo, J.H., 2004. In Praise of Statutes of Limitations in Sex Offense Cases. Hous. L. Rev., 41, p.1205. Dorak, M.T. ed., 2007. Real-time PCR. Taylor & Francis. Fisher, B.A. and Fisher, D.R., 2012. Techniques of crime scene investigation. crc Press. Geraghty, R.J., Capes-Davis, A., Davis, J.M., Downward, J., Freshney, R.I., Knezevic, I., Lovell-Badge, R., Masters, J.R.W., Meredith, J., Stacey, G.N. and Thraves, P., 2014. Guidelines for the use of cell lines in biomedical research. British journal of cancer, 111(6), pp.1021-1046. Ghincea, A.R., 2012. Beauty and Elegance in the World Around Us:: Elucidating the Higher Order Structure of the B12 Riboswitch in thermatoga Maratima and Reflections Concerning the Interface Between Science and Religion. Lee, H.C., Ladd, C., Scherczinger, C.A. and Bourke, M.T., 1998. Forensic applications of DNA typing: part 2 collection and preservation of DNA evidence. The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology, 19(1), pp.10-18. Peyrégne, S. and Prüfer, K., 2020. Present‐Day DNA Contamination in Ancient DNA Datasets. Bioessays, 42(9), p.2000081. Reid, Y., Storts, D., Riss, T. and Minor, L., 2013. Authentication of human cell lines by STR DNA profiling analysis. In Assay Guidance Manual [Internet]. Eli Lilly & Company and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Ribaux, O., Girod, A., Walsh, S.J., Margot, P., Mizrahi, S. and Clivaz, V., 2003. Forensic intelligence and crime analysis. Law, Probability and Risk, 2(1), pp.47-60. Spinello, R.P., Spintech Inc, 1995. Apparatus and method for verifiably sterilizing, destroying and encapsulating regulated medical wastes. U.S. Patent 5,401,444. Van Oorschot, R.A., Ballantyne, K.N. and Mitchell, R.J., 2010. Forensic trace DNA: a review. Investigative genetics, 1(1), pp.1-17.

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