Life Technologies' Applied Biosystems unit said last week that its forensic DNA amplification kit has been approved for inclusion in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National DNA Index System.
A spokesperson for Life Tech told PCR Insider this week that the approval constitutes an "endorsement" of the PCR-based kit by one of the most important legal entities in the US, and could lead to wider adoption of the technology in forensic laboratories around the country.
"Many forensic labs have used this technology previously, but now users can upload data [into NDIS]" and obtain leads in unsolved crimes on a national basis instead of on a local or regional basis, the spokesperson said.
In a statement, Life Tech's President of Human Identification Leonard Klevan added that "some laboratories have already generated valuable data from unsolved crimes and have been waiting for this opportunity to compare it to the NDIS database. Ultimately, this approval will help solve more crimes, reopen unsolved cold cases, exonerate the wrongly accused, and help identify missing persons."
The technology, called the AmpFlSTR MiniFiler PCR amplification kit, is a legacy product launched in 2007 from Applied Biosystems' applied markets division. MiniFiler is the world's first commercially available reagent kit designed with mini-short tandem repeat, or miniSTR, amplicons, which can increase the ability to obtain DNA results from compromised or degraded samples, Life Tech said.
The NDIS database is used by law enforcement professionals to compare genetic profile information from crimes committed across the US. It is managed by the FBI as the nation's forensic DNA database, and contains more than 7 million profiles and has produced more than 98,000 matches with DNA profiles, assisting in more than 97,000 criminal investigations.