DNA transfer within forensic exhibit packaging: Potential for DNA loss and relocation Academic Article uri icon


  • Crime scene samples after their collection are packaged and transported to the laboratory for examination and DNA analysis. The amount and location of DNA-containing material retrieved from an exhibit can be critical in acquiring a profile for incrimination or exclusion purposes and for elucidating criminal events. This paper shows that significant quantities of DNA are frequently: (a) transferred from the exhibit to the inside of the packaging and (b) transferred from its area of initial deposit to other areas of the same exhibit and/or to other exhibits within the same package. There is a distinct possibility of failing to generate adequate profiles in instances where the DNA content may otherwise have been adequate, and for the misinterpretation of a result that could impact negatively on the criminal investigation and court outcome. These findings highlight the need for improvements in the collection and packaging of forensic casework exhibits for DNA analysis.


publication date

  • March 2012