Advertisement

DNA transfer in packaging: Attention required

  • Carl J. Stella
    Affiliations
    Office of the Chief Forensic Scientist, Victoria Police Forensic Services Department, Macleod, VIC 3085, Australia

    School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Georgina E. Meakin
    Affiliations
    Centre for Forensic Science, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia

    Centre for the Forensic Sciences, Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London, London WC1H 9EZ, UK
    Search for articles by this author
  • Roland A.H. van Oorschot
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Office of the Chief Forensic Scientist, Victoria Police Forensic Services Department, Macleod, VIC 3085, Australia.
    Affiliations
    Office of the Chief Forensic Scientist, Victoria Police Forensic Services Department, Macleod, VIC 3085, Australia

    School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
Published:October 25, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigss.2022.10.070

      Abstract

      Items from crime scenes are frequently packaged and transported to laboratories for forensic examination. The packaging primarily maintains the integrity of forensic evidence associated with the item by protecting it from contamination and environmental impacts, plus limiting and recording access. There is diversity in the types of packaging used. We are aware that DNA-containing material may transfer from an item to the internal side of packaging and/or from one area of an item to another area, potentially limiting generation of good quality DNA profiles and/or affecting their interpretation. However, the level of transfer risk is unclear, as are the main impacting factors. It is thus highly relevant to improve our understanding of these. Here we explore what commonly applied standards prescribe regarding packaging requirements to maintain the integrity of DNA on a packaged item, conduct further studies confirming the risk of transfer, and suggest packaging features requiring research considerations that may limit the risk of DNA transfer within packaging.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. ISO 21043–2:2018, Forensic Sciences Part 2: Recognition, Recording, Collecting, Transport and Storage of Items.

      2. AS 5388.1-2012, Forensic analysis, Part 1: Recognition, recording, recovery, transport and storage of material.

      3. AS 5388.2-2012, Forensic analysis, Part 2: Analysis and examination of material.

      4. UK FSR-G-206, The Control and Avoidance of Contamination in Scene Examination involving DNA Evidence Recovery.

      5. OSAC 2020-N-0015, Guiding Principles for Scene Investigation and Reconstruction.

      6. NATA General Accreditation Criteria, Legal Management of Facility Activities (Forensic Operations Module), 2019.

        • Goray M.
        • van Oorschot R.A.H.
        • Mitchell R.J.
        DNA transfer within exhibit packaging: potential for DNA loss and relocation.
        Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 2012; 6: 158-166
        • Thornbury D.
        • Goray M.
        • van Oorschot R.A.H.
        Indirect DNA transfer without contact from dried biological materials on various surfaces.
        Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 2021; 51102457
        • Hughes D.A.
        • Szkuta B.
        • van Oorschot R.A.H.
        • et al.
        Impact of surface roughness on the deposition of saliva and fingerprint residue on non-porous substrates.
        Forensic Chem. 2021; 23100318
        • Bille T.W.
        • Fahrig G.
        • Weitz S.M.
        • et al.
        An improved process for the collection and DNA analysis of fired cartridge cases.
        Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 2020; 46102238
      7. WA Products (UK) Ltd. 〈www.waproducts.co.uk〉.

        • Steensma K.
        • Ansell R.
        • Clarisse L.
        • et al.
        An inter-laboratory comparison study on transfer, persistence and recovery of DNA from cable ties.
        Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 2017; 31: 95-104