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NCJ Number: 252610 Find in a Library
Title: Understanding Male DNA Screening To Eliminate and Prevent Sexual Assault Kit Backlogs
Author(s): Amy Jeanguenat
Corporate Author: RTI International
United States of America
Date Published: November 2017
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
Washington, DC 20531
RTI International
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Grant Number: 2014-AK-BX-K021
Sale Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Instructional Material; Issue Overview; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses male DNA screening of evidence in sexual assault kits (SAKs)) as an efficient method for reducing SAK backlogs.
Abstract: The reduction of manual steps and optimizing automation is essential for improving the efficiency of processing SAKs. Many forensic laboratories screen SAKs for biological fluid, such as semen, a process that takes approximately 4-7 hours per kit. Following biological fluid screening, the samples deemed probative for possible DNA are selected for differential extraction, a process that separates sperm cells from non-sperm cells. The trained capacity and number of hours needed to screen thousands of SAKs, even without proceeding with DNA testing, can create a bottleneck in laboratory case processing. An alternative process for screening SAKs is male DNA screening, also known as Y-Marker screening or direct-to-DNA. Male DNA screening shifts the emphasis from screening SAKs for biological fluid to screening them with quantification, a step already used in DNA processing to determine how much DNA a sample contains. Because modern commercial quantification kits determine how much human DNA (both male and female DNA) and male DNA a sample contains, quantification can be used in the screening process, taking less than 1 hour per kit. Male DNA screening can be automated for high-throughput testing, since male DNA screening does not detect seminal fluid or semen. Screening for male DNA can detect possible probative samples in cases that involve digital penetration or other touching in sexual contact that involves no ejaculation or azoospermic males who currently screen negative in biological fluid screening. In one study, male DNA screening proved more effective than biological fluid screening in detecting male DNA from vaginal swabs, external genitalia, and dried secretions. This report describes and compares methods of male DNA screening.
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): BJA Grant-related Documents; BJA Resources; DNA Typing; Efficiency; Gender issues; Investigative techniques; Male offenders; Rape evidence kits; Suspect identification
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