Volume 50, Issue 6 (November 2005)
Beware of the Possibility of Fingerprinting Techniques Transferring DNA
Fingerprinting brushes have the potential to collect and transfer DNA during powdering. Squirrel-hair fingerprint brushes exposed to specific sets of saliva stains and brushes used in routine casework were tested for their ability to collect and transfer DNA containing material using standard DNA extraction procedures and AmpF/STR® Profiler Plus™ amplification and typing procedures. The tests found that the risk of transferring DNA during powdering and having a detrimental impact on the analysis increases if the examiner powders over either biological stains (such as blood or saliva) or very fresh prints and uses more sensitive PCR amplification and typing procedures. We advocate caution when powdering prints from which DNA may also be collected and provide options for consideration to limit the risk of transferred DNA contamination while fingerprinting.