Factors Contributing to Laboratory Contamination in Forensic DNA Analysis

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Greg Hampikian


Contamination has always been a problem in DNA analysis testing, but it is becoming a more prominent problem with more sensitive DNA typing techniques such as Next Generation Sequencing. Therefore, it is important to learn how to prevent even miniscule amounts of DNA transfer. In this study, primary and secondary transfer contamination was simulated for observation and analysis purposes. In this study, we controlled and varied three variables that are considered important to DNA transfer: the amount of DNA, the type of sample either wet or dry, and the composition of gloves worn by lab personnel. All samples were processed for DNA extraction with the Quiagen QIAamp DNA Mini Kit and real-time PCR quantification with ThermoFisher Scientific Quantiflier Human DNA Quantification Kit. Samples were then profiled for analysis. The three variables were correlated with the probability of transfer, and the amount of DNA transferred. The amount of DNA in the initial sample directly affected the possibility and amount of transfer, especially with wet DNA stains.

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