Medicago in forensics

On the side of justice

How much can buffer quality influence crime clearance rates? A lot, actually! SmartBuffers™ from Medicago have significantly preserved quality of DNA samples, forming a crucial part of modern forensic analysis.

DNA analysis at the core
Laboratories play an increasingly important role in modern forensic work. Rapid analysis of DNA samples is a vital identification tool at forensic centers around the world. Developments in DNA analysis are accelerating, with more advanced technologies becoming available continuously. Today, laboratories are capable of extracting high-quality data even from very old or poorly preserved DNA samples. 

Can biological buffers create a weak link forensic analysis?
However, it takes more than just advanced analysis tools to make sure forensic DNA analyses are successful. A weak link in quality-assurance chain during a forensic investigation may well be the biological buffers used to extract and store crime scene DNA samples. At least in forensic labs where buffers are prepared manually – and where there is consequently a risk that human error in buffer prep may impair sample quality .

Tris-EDTA helped to improve forensic sample integrity
To reduce margins 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 gross errors during buffer prep. Poor buffer quality had even rendered some DNA extractions useless, having serious implications for legal certainty in final decisions made in court.

Strengthening legal certainty in final decisions
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  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.