Forensic scientists who need to differentiate genetic profiles in forensic DNA mixtures, such as those commonly associated with crime scenes, now have access to a new next-generation sequencing (NGS) STR panel from Thermo Fisher Scientific. The combination of Applied Biosystems Precision ID GlobalFiler NGS STR Panel v2 and Converge Software 2.0 is designed to effectively retrieve more information from these mixed, degraded or limited DNA samples.
Forensic scientists have traditionally used capillary electrophoresis (CE) to analyze STR markers for genetic profile comparisons with known individuals from the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database and other databases worldwide. However, complicating factors, such as DNA degradation, mixtures and/or insufficient starting material, prevent an estimated 30-40 percent of samples from offering conclusive results.
The new Precision ID GlobalFiler NGS STR Panel v2 is designed to work seamlessly with the Ion Chef System for automated library and template preparation and sequencing on the Ion S5 and Ion S5 XL Systems, which offer as little as two hour sequencing run times and 15 minutes of hands-on time. The panel targets CODIS expanded core loci, with additional multi-allelic STR markers, including Penta D and Penta E, as well as sex determination markers. This expanded marker set assists in mixture resolution for identifying multiple contributors in complex casework samples.
The new Converge NGS Analysis module is required to generate profiles from the Precision ID GlobalFiler NGS STR Panel v2. The HID STR genotyping functionality provides information on length-based STR allele call, sequence-based repeat motif, known SNPs in flanking regions, and isometric heterozygote (alleles of the same fragment length, but containing different repeat sequence) information. These additional sequence-based characteristics will deliver a wider allele range with an increased power of discrimination for individual identification. With an interface which is similar to Applied Biosystems GeneMapper ID-X software, forensic analysts can easily evaluate sequencing data using familiar Process Quality Values and flags, such as allele number (AN), off-ladder allele (OL), peak height ratio (PHR), below stochastic threshold (BST) and Control Concordance (CC).
“NGS now has the ability to transform forensic genetics by enabling the recovery of highly discriminating allelic profiles from challenging mixed or degraded samples,” said Claus Børsting, Ph.D., senior advisor at the Section of Forensic Genetics, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. “Our tests show full concordance with CE based methods, high sensitivity, and new possibilities for mixture interpretation. Under our ISO 17025 laboratory accreditation, we have used NGS in relationship case work since 2015. Currently, we are validating an ancestry panel to bring NGS on-line in crime case work.”
“Our customers need more access to genetic identification profiles from complex DNA samples, prompting the continued development of the Precision ID NGS System, additional panels and a more comprehensive data analysis pipeline.” said Rosy Lee, vice president and general manager of human identification at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Additional information on the Precision ID NGS System with Converge software can be found here.
The Precision ID NGS System is for research, forensic or paternity use only; Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
About Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of $18 billion and more than 55,000 employees globally. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We help our customers accelerate life sciences research, solve complex analytical challenges, improve patient diagnostics and increase laboratory productivity. Through our premier brands – Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, and Unity Lab Services – we offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and comprehensive support. For more information, please visit www.thermofisher.com
Media Contact Information:
Mauricio Minotta, Thermo Fisher Scientific
+1 760 929 2456