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Consulting and Review

DNA Testing

 

Mitochondrial DNA
Expert Consultant

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Discovery Requests and
Review Check Lists

Below you'll find a list of the items our experts at Applied DNA Resources will need in order to complete a comprehensive review of the DNA testing performed in connection with the analysis performed by most laboratories.  To see Applied DNA Resources's review check list, click here: Review Check List



The following items are requested in connection with the DNA testing performed on evidentiary and reference materials from this case.

  1. Case File: A legible copy of all records pertaining to the DNA testing performed in this case, including but not limited to:
    (a) Hand written bench notes
    (b) Extraction, quantitation, PCR, hybridization, capillary
    electrophoresis, and results worksheets
    (c) Statistical calculations worksheets
    (d) Hardcopies of chromatographic data (electropharograms)
    (e) Communication logs

    Please provide copies that are equivalent in content and quality (i.e.: X-ray film copies of X-ray films, photographic quality copies of photographs, color copies of electropharograms).

    For data or documentation initially collected, analyzed and / or stored in a digital format, please provide copies of such items on CD-ROM only (see item 2 below).

  2. Data Files: Copies of all computer data files used and created in the course of performing the DNA testing and subsequent analysis of the data in this case. These files should include all data necessary to: (i) independently reanalyze the raw data and (ii) reconstruct the analysis performed in this case, including but not limited to:

    (a) project files
    (b) sample files
    (c) gel files
    (d) log files
    (e) tracking files
    (f) sample sheet
    (g) injection list
    (h) any additional files, including any category lists, templates, stationary pad documents, unedited step lists, data utility programs, or electrophoresis history files, generated in the course of this testing.

  3. Testing Documentation Relied Upon: Legible copies of all protocols and procedures which were claimed to have been followed, or relied upon in executing, interpreting and / or reporting the DNA tests performed in the incident case, including but not limited to:

    (a) Standard operating protocols and procedures (SOP) governing  the performance of DNA testing by the laboratory.
    (b) Quality control and assurance SOPs.
    (c) The identification of the types and manufactures of all kits and reagents utilized.
    (d) All protocols and manuals accompanying any instrumentation and  /or software utilized.
    (e) Any documentation or certificates of analysis from the
    manufactures of the test kits, instrumentation, and / or reagents   utilized.

  4. Laboratory: A brief description of the laboratory responsible for the testing in this case. In addition, provide a diagram of the laboratory to clearly show work areas for DNA isolation and processing, including but not limited to pre / post PCR areas, and sample analysis flow.

  5. Laboratory personnel: Copies of a current Curriculum Vita and job description for the individuals responsible for the performance and review of the DNA testing being offered in to evidence.

  6. Identification of the Genetic Loci Analyzed: The identification of the genetic loci examined in connection with the testing being offered into evidence, including any relevant size, frequency, and reference information.

  7. Genotypic Databases: All materials from any DNA databases used or relied upon for the statistical analyses performed in connection with this case; including but not limited to:

    (a) Complete databases stored in electronic form on computer disc (PC formatted 3 ", CD-ROM) or in hardcopy form;

    or

    (b) Copies of all documents or literature citations related to the source and/or origins of samples in any such databases, including:

        (i)  the method by which samples were collected
        (ii) the background and/or characteristics of the individuals who
             were the source of the samples
        (iii) the choice of populations and sub-populations which were
              sampled
        (iv) the nature of the sampling procedure which were used to
              collect the samples.

    (c) Copies of any allelic frequency tables relied upon.

  8. Chain of Custody and Disposition of Evidence Documentation: Copies of all chain of custody documents for each item of evidence subjected to DNA testing including descriptions of:

    (a) where and how evidentiary materials were collected
    (b) where and how the materials were stored (temperature and type of container)
    (c) the amount of evidentiary material consumed during testing and   the amount of material remaining
    (d) where and how the remaining evidence is stored (temperature   and type of container)

  9. Software and Macros: The following software and macro items:

    (a) A list of all commercial software programs utilized in connection with the testing performed, including the names of the software programs, manufacturers, and versions, as well as any commercial macros employed.
    (b) Copies of any programs and / or macros written by the testing laboratory and utilized in the analysis of the data generated in this case.
    (c) For any commercial software item or macro, which has been modified in house in any way during the testing, provide either, (i) a copy of the modified software item, or (ii) a detailed list of modifications that were made.

  10. Records of Maintenance, Trouble-shooting, or Problems Encountered During Testing: Copies of laboratory records or other materials which document any trouble-shooting, repairs, modifications or changes which were made to the instrumentation (3) months before and after the testing in this case, including but not limited to:

    (a) Copies of all documentation and certification related to the re-calibration of any instrumentation with the intent of modifying the equipment for the performance purposes.
    (b) Copies of any routine diagnostic checks and / or logs of the laboratory's thermal cycler and any other instrumentation, including refrigeration devices, employed in the testing.
    (c) Copies of any notes, or records of communications, relating to trouble-shooting which had to be performed on any instrument, including calls to technical support lines and visits by field technicians to repair the instrument.
    (d) Records of changes that were made to any of the instruments in the course of the testing, including replacement of any parts.
    (e) Records of all computer resets or "reboots" which had to be executed during the testing.
    (f) Records of all incidents in which manual controls or overrides were employed.

  11. Developmental Validation: Please provide copies of all developmental validation studies pertaining to the specific type of DNA test performed in this case (pursuant to DNA Advisory Board (DAB) Standards 8.1.1 and 8.1.2), including all studies relied upon in claiming that adequate validation pursuant to these guidelines and standards has been achieved. In the event that these items are not in the public domain or published literature, the materials provided should include copies of all relevant laboratory notebooks, computer data files, the results of all studies performed, and any unpublished scientific papers.

  12. Internal Validation: Please provide copies of all internal validation studies pertaining to the specific type of DNA test performed in this case.  Pursuant to DAB Standard 8.1.3, include all internal validation studies conducted by the testing laboratory and any additional validation studies relied upon by the testing laboratory in claiming that the test has been adequately validated in accordance with these guidelines and standards. In the event that these items are not in the public domain or published literature, the materials provided should include copies of all relevant laboratory notebooks, computer data files, the results of all studies performed, and any unpublished scientific papers.

    (b) Please indicate whether the studies requested in (a) were performed onsite by the laboratory responsible for the testing in this case or if the studies were performed offsite in a different physical location.

  13. Proficiency Tests: Copies of all internal and external proficiency tests executed by the technician(s) responsible for the performance of the testing in this case. For each test, please provide:

    (a) the compete proficiency test case file
    (b) computer data files
    (c) test results, evaluations, and/or reports issued by any testing agency
    (d) please provide records maintained pursuant to TWGDAM Guideline 9.3 and DAB Standard 13.1.1reflecting an accounting of any errors note in the proficiency tests requested.
    (e) Please indicate if the testing was performed in an open or blinded fashion.

  14. Accreditation: Copies of all licenses or other certificates of accreditation held by the DNA laboratory responsible for the performance of the testing in this case.

  15. Documentation of Corrective Action for Discrepancies and Errors: Please provide a copy of all documentation of corrective actions maintained by the laboratory responsible for the DNA testing in this case, pursuant to the DAB Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories, Standard 14, which states that forensic DNA laboratories must "follow procedures for corrective action whenever proficiency testing discrepancies and/or casework errors are detected" and "shall maintain documentation for the corrective action."

  16. Technicians' Profiles: With respect to the genetic loci tested in this case, please provide the DNA profiles of all technicians in the laboratory involved in casework analysis. For purposes of privacy, these DNA profiles may be provided in a blind fashion without any identifiers.

  17. Error Rates: Please indicate the error rates associated with the type of DNA testing performed in this case, including:

    (a) rates (Laboratory, State and National) calculated from errors detected and documented in conjunction with administered proficiency tests.
    (b) rates (Laboratory, State and National ) calculated from errors detected and documented in previous casework.

  18. Acceptable Use: Please provide a list of all reagents and materials utilized in the testing performed here, indicating the manufacture's certified acceptable use policy for each item (i.e.: "For Research Use Only", "For Diagnostic Use", etc...) .

  19. Audits: Please provide all documentation associated with any audits (i.e.: ASCLD, DAB audits, etc.) conducted to demonstrate compliance with the Federal DNA Identification Act of 1994, as set forth in the DAB Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories and / or the Quality Assurance Standards for Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Laboratories.

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Updated 12/8/03

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