Forensic Services Frequently Asked Questions

Forensic Paternity FAQs

Forensic Paternity

Yes, using a 13 loci STR system with the mother’s sample, you will usually see a probability of paternity around 99.999%; without the mother, you will see a probability of paternity around 99.9%.

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We can perform the testing at any point following eight weeks gestation, as long as the fetal tissue can be identified or has been isolated. Eight weeks gestation is about the earliest that the fetal tissue can be identified.

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Private laboratories like Bode Cellmark do not have the ability to upload profiles to CODIS. However, we routinely provide state labs with the relevant data that enables profiles generated at Bode Cellmark to be uploaded to CODIS by the relevant agency.

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Missing Persons FAQs

Missing Persons

We would recommend sending the femur if available. If the femur is not an option, then a molar or the next largest load-bearing bone available would be the best option. Bode Cellmark has been successful with obtaining full DNA profiles from highly-compromised bone fragments, including victims from Hurricane Katrina and the attack on the World Trade Center.

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If the cremation temperature was lower than 1500 degrees Celsius, teeth may have survived and could be processed for STR or mtDNA analysis.

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Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing FAQs

Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing

We recommend that hair be at least 2 cm in length for testing.

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Yes, mitochondrial testing is the only DNA testing option provided at Bode Cellmark for this type of hair sample.

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The report will indicate whether the sequence for the individual associated with the reference sample is consistent with the sequence associated with the evidence item or may be excluded as a contributor to the evidence item.

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Nuclear DNA Analysis FAQs

Nuclear DNA Analysis

We can examine the hair for STR suitability. The suitability will depend on whether there is a root attached and the stage of growth of the hair. Based on our examination, we will make a recommendation for nuclear or mitochondrial testing.

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Y-STR testing is beneficial in the case of a mixture with a major component female STR profile and a few alleles from a male contributor. A partial to full Y-STR profile would most likely be obtained because the Y-STR primers can focus on the male DNA without the female DNA interfering with the interpretation. Y-STR testing can be useful for samples believed to have originated from azospermic or vasectomized males, as well as non-sexual samples such as mixed DNA profiles from touch evidence tested from fingernails, clothing, and guns.

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Bode Cellmark offers STR amplification using commercially available kits for the generation of the core CODIS 13 loci, including both the Hitachi and Applied Biosystems platforms using Promega’s PowerPlex® 16 System and PowerPlex® 16 BIO System and the Applied Biosystems AmpFLSTR® Profiler Plus®, COfiler®, Identifiler® and MiniFilerTM PCR amplification kits.

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Serology FAQs


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Touch DNA FAQs

Touch DNA

LCN is used on items in cases where only minimal contact has occurred or there are only small quantities of cells/DNA present. Unlike touch DNA, these samples are processed through a higher number of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycles which may be able to obtain a DNA profile when conventional PCR cannot. LCN is usually only used on a sample that has already been processed and has an indication of the presence of DNA, but cannot be re-worked any further using standard DNA methods.

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Bode Cellmark uses a touch evidence procedure for processing samples from areas where you would expect to find DNA (in the form of skin cells) from a person who has come in contact with the item.  An example is the handle of a murder weapon or a pair of pants that have been pulled down. The success of touch DNA depends on the sampling method, the type of material, and the shedding capabilities of the suspect, as some people naturally leave behind more skin cells.

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It is highly unlikely that the shed skin cells will remain on an item of clothing that has been laundered.

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