Previously published in Examiner
Part 6 of the Forensic DNA series
Different types of forensic DNA testing continued
Mitochondrial DNA Analysis
Mitochondrial DNA analysis (mtDNA) will be taken from a cellular organelle called a mitochondrion. Mitochondrial DNA Analysis is chosen if the other types of DNA analyses mentioned in part 5 of this series cannot be used. This nuclear DNA analysis is often used when samples are very old. For example, Mitochondrial DNA Analysis is used in criminal cases that have remained unsolved for many years.
All children have the same mitochondrial DNA as their mother, since the mitochondrial DNA comes directly from the Mother’s ovum. The father’s sperm only contributes to Nuclear DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is very important in missing person’s cases.
Whereas mitochondrial DNA is important in establishing the connection with mother and child, Y-Chromosome analysis will establish the connection between father and child. As you already know from basis biology, a female donates only the X chromosome and the male donates the X and the Y chromosomes for reproduction.
Projects that have used DNA testing to identify humans both living and deceased
The US government was not equipped to handle so many samples. At the time of the 911 disaster DNA analysis could not handle over 500 casualties for identification purposes. As a result, a special panel of experts from the National Institutes of Health and other organizations had to be set up to develop strategies to collect the DNA samples at the site, to monitor the findings, identify the victims, and expedite the findings to various crime labs and databases across the Nation.
New strategies were developed to handle a disaster of this magnitude. However, the project ended in 2005 because many of the samples were just too small for analysis. Only 1585, out of the 2792 estimated victims, had been identified. By 2007, newer technology was on the market. Bode Technology Group developed a newer DNA analysis procedure that required smaller samples. Because of this new DNA technology more remains have been identified.
To be continued
Pro-ADN Diagnostic is Montreal’s Major DNA Testing Center
3885 Industriel Blvd.
Laval, QC H7L 4S3
T: (450) 663-6724 ext. 247
F: (450) 663-4428