What does the quality of biological buffers have to do with crime clearance rates? A great deal, actually. SmartBuffers™ from Medicago have as proven to strongly impact the quality of DNA samples, which are a crucial part of modern forensic analysis.
DNA analysis at the core
Laboratories play an increasingly important role in modern forensic work. Today, the analysis of DNA samples is a vital identification tool at forensic centers around the world. Developments in DNA analysis are accelerating and more advanced technologies are becoming available. Today, laboratories are capable of extracting high-quality data even from very old and poor DNA samples.
Are biological buffers a weak link in forensics?
However, it takes more than advanced analysis tools to make sure forensic DNA analyses are successful. A weak link in the quality-assurance chain may well be the biological buffers used to extract and store the DNA samples. At least in forensic labs where buffers are prepared manually – and where there is consequently a risk that human error may impair sample quality.
Tris-EDTA helped to improve DNA samples
To eliminate the margin of error, a European national forensic center decided to shift from manual buffer preparation to using Tris-EDTA, part of the SmartBuffers™ product family from Medicago. The forensic center had noticed there was a significant variation in buffer quality in their manual preparation work – due to the human factor. Poor buffer quality had even rendered some DNA extractions useless, which had serious implications on legal certainty in the country.
Strengthening legal certainty
The DNA analysis problem experienced by the forensic center was particularly serious in those cases when there was a shortage of DNA material from the crime scene. There was also the risk that corrupt samples could lead to false identification of a suspect, thus further jeopardizing legal certainty. After changing to Tris-EDTA from Medicago, the forensic center has not experienced a single problem related to biological buffers in their DNA analyses.