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Faster Profiles

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to place rapid DNA analyzers in booking stations around the country so police can quickly check if individuals under arrest match samples in the agency's national DNA database, CODIS, the Washington Post reports. It notes that 30 states and the federal government allow DNA collection upon arrest.

These portable "Rapid DNA" machines can analyze DNA swabs to produce a profile based on 20 loci within two hours, the Post says. This, it adds, has the potential to speed investigators' work, as it currently takes days or weeks to get forensic DNA samples analyzed.

Currently, "Rapid DNA" machines such as ANDE's 6C model are not hooked up to CODIS, which is what the FBI initiative aims to change, the Post report. It adds that only DNA taken from known individuals — such as samples obtained from people during booking — will be allowed to be submitted to CODIS, as the machines were not developed to analyze mixed samples like those from crime scenes.

While law enforcement says this could aid investigations, privacy advocates worry about what other information these DNA profiles could provide.