Scope of Service
Scope of Service
The Biology Division offers five main areas of service:
1. Examination of Exhibits for Biological Fluids
Items may be screened for the presence of biological fluids (blood, semen, and saliva). The Laboratory provides both presumptive and confirmatory tests. Presumptive tests indicate the presence of a particular body fluid whereas confirmatory tests involve additional procedures to conclusively identify a body fluid. Tests for blood can include detection of the catalytic properties of heme and haemoglobin. The tests for semen include presence of acid phosphatase, prostate specific antigen, semenogelin, and microscopic identification of spermatozoa.
The current technology used for DNA profiling worldwide is the amplification of Short Tandem Repeat loci by Polymerase Chain Reaction (STR-PCR) followed by detection via capillary electrophoresis. The STR-PCR approach offers a rapid and sensitive technique, especially suitable for the limited and degraded samples commonly encountered in crime casework. The DNA Profiling Laboratory currently offers testing based on 21 STR loci.
Kinship (biological relationship) testing can be applied to both criminal and civil investigations by establishing biological relationships between individuals.
Criminal investigations requiring biological relationship evidence usually revolve around “product of conception (POC)” cases resulting from rape or incest. DNA tests can be conducted to establish the identity of the putative father. Biological relationship information can also prove helpful in cases of unidentified human remains.
Parent-child relationship information is also used in various civil situations such as application for citizenship, birth certificate amendment, alimony in divorce, legacy and affiliation cases. A request and submission of samples for kinship testing must be accompanied by a completed Request and Consent Form for Parentage Testing. Samples without a properly completed form will not be accepted.
The DNA Profiling Laboratory also provides individual DNA profiling for persons (or companies) who wish to obtain and retain a "genetic barcode" of themselves (or their staff).