The DNA Unit of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory analyzes forensic casework samples e.g., blood, semen, saliva, hairs with follicular tags, touch samples, etc. found at a crime scene or associated with a criminal investigation. The DNA profiles from forensic casework samples may be entered into the COmbined DNA Index System (i.e., CODIS). The Unit also processes known DNA samples from suspects and victims associated with the case and convicted offender samples for entry into CODIS.
DNA profiles generated from forensic casework samples undergo comparative analysis to include or exclude potential suspects or victims as the source of the biological material. DNA analysts generate reports which provide statistics to assist in the interpretation of the results and testify in court, as necessary. The DNA Unit analyzes nuclear DNA utilizing PCR-based techniques to conduct autosomal STR (Short Tandem Repeat) and Y-STR (male specific DNA typing) analyses. This Unit features state of the art equipment that includes:
- Robotics for DNA extraction and purification;
- Automated DNA quantifiers;
- Genetic analyzers used for separating the DNA fragments and obtaining profiles.
The DNA Unit adheres to the current Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories and DNA Databasing Laboratories issued by the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM).