Forensic Serology/DNA Consulting
Speckin Forensic Laboratories are specialists in helping attorneys understand serology and DNA and its relevance to their case. We will provide effective case review and consultation to assure that proper serological and DNA analysis has been conducted.
What is serology?
In a traditional sense serology means the characterization of blood utilizing antigen-antibody tests. The term is used loosely now and encompasses all of the initial location, characterization and isolation of biological fluids for DNA testing. Testing is available for blood (human and animal), seminal fluid, semen (includes sperm cells), amylase (component of saliva), urine, feces, and vomit.
What Is DNA?
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material present in the cells of all living organisms. DNA molecules are the fundamental units of heredity. DNA instructs the body cells to make proteins which determine structure and function. DNA is the same in every cell of an individual. Most DNA from person to person is the same. That is what makes us human in structure and function. A small percentage of DNA is different from individual to individual and these differences are the basis for forensic DNA individualization.
How is DNA applied forensically?
Body fluids characterized by serology can be DNA tested and compared to reference samples from victims and suspects. DNA results upon comparison are declared a match, exclusion or the less powerful association of “cannot exclude”. If the DNA from an evidence sample does not match the reference sample, then we can conclude that that individual did not contribute the sample. If a match or a “cannot exclude” result is declared, statistical estimates must then be calculated to determine the significance of the association. DNA can be a very powerful forensic tool for identification or exoneration.
How can the experts at Speckin Forensic Laboratories help?
For both criminal and civil cases, we will assist with motions, hearings and discovery; review completed testing; conduct further testing; facilitate retesting; prepare attorneys for cross-examination of witnesses; and provide effective expert testimony. We can also utilize serology and DNA testing methods to answer specific questions of sexual fidelity.
What kinds of bodily fluid/materials can be analyzed for serology and/or DNA?
Seminal fluid and/or semen
Aborted embryo/fetal tissue
How long do biological samples persist?
This varies depending on the biological material, initial collection,
activity since deposition, and storage of the evidence. Samples still
viable for DNA testing have been known to persist for multiple decades.