Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For the best chance of success, fetal matter should be at least 8 weeks of gestation. Due to the possibility that the mother's DNA could be mixed with that of the fetal matter, a known sample from the mother (eg cheek swab, blood sample) should also be tested. This sample will be used to confirm that the DNA profile obtained is not from the mother.
Bode Cellmark prefers to work with items that are at least 3mm x 3mm, but may be able to produce a DNA profile from smaller areas, depending on type and concentration of the stain (semen, blood, saliva, etc.). Typically, a semen or blood stain yields the most DNA.
- In sexual assault cases when the ratio of female-to-male DNA is high;
- In sexual assault cases when there may be mixtures of DNA from more than two contributors, with at least one being male;
- In cases where fingernail clippings, bite marks and breast swabs are being tested (these samples cannot be separated into male and female DNA cell types using regular STR techniques);
- In sexual assault cases when a sample has screened positive for semen, but no spermatozoa are observed.
Yes, Bode Cellmark was one of the first in the industry to process casework using miniSTR DNA analysis. MiniSTRs are designed to increase the likelihood of obtaining a full DNA profile from compromised samples. The miniSTR amplification kit targets the largest loci in the STR amplification kit that may not be identified with standard STR. Bode Cellmark’s validation studies for miniSTRs show a full reportable profile with as little as 62pg of input DNA, compared to 200pg for standard STR.
A written report will be issued that indicates either the presence or absence of biological fluids on each item. If the client has instructed Bode Cellmark to proceed with DNA testing of each positive stain, then the screening results will be included on the DNA report.
Chain of custody begins at the point of origin when the client packages the sample(s) for shipment to Bode Cellmark. Each piece of evidence must be accompanied by a completed chain-of-custody document and must be sent by a nationally-recognized courier with a tracking number that can be used to maintain the chain of custody. Alternatively, samples can be delivered in person to the Bode Cellmark laboratory. Once received by Bode Cellmark, each transfer of evidence is documented by the Bode Cellmark lab technicians who are handling the evidence.
Yes, Bode Cellmark can examine a piece of evidence and test visible stains for the presence of semen, blood and saliva. This can be done for single cases only on a per item basis or for contract clients on a larger scale. Small items such as panties, condoms and sexual assault kits will be billed on a per item basis. Larger bulk items will be billed on an hourly basis.
A forensic paternity case is one that is required as part of a criminal investigation, such as incest or an underage mother or an abandoned infant. Court-ready reports will be issued for all such cases (where a proper chain of custody is provided) and expert testimony will be available to support our written results as well.
- Animal and plant forensic DNA testing
- Urinalysis and hair analysis for drugs or any substance
- Drug testing
- ABO blood typing
- Screening for genetic abnormalities
- HIV testing
- Traditional fingerprinting
- Ballistics or gunshot residue testing
Bode Cellmark prefers to work with hair samples that are 10-20 mm. However, if the hair sample is lighter in color and/or is a fine texture, a longer hair might be required. Mitochondrial testing can be attempted on hairs shorter than 10mm if the client wishes.
Discovery and Testimony FAQs