HID | NGS
Solving abandoned cold cases with molecular testing
13 October 2021
All local recommended safety guidelines followed at the time of interview.
Not every unsolved case is a recent crime. Sometimes human remains are unearthed after years hidden underground, discovered, for example, by accident at a construction site by developers. At Towson University Human Remains Laboratory, Kelly Elkins and Cynthia Zeller use molecular testing to investigate cold cases and historical cases from the colonial era while also teaching forensic technology of the future.
The biggest challenges working with historic remains, as well as some other samples, like chewing gum is the low quantity of DNA that you're able to recover.
We're able to provide not only the ancestry, but also determined that these individuals existed and to provide a bit of history for their families about them.
Sometimes DNA is fragmented and damaged. That’s why we use whole genome amplification to improve that profile…We use a lot of QIAGEN equipment.
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