Reliable single cell PCR requires nested or heminested PCR and careful optimization of conditions. This report describes the successful use of nested PCR for gender identification and reverse paternity testing in a forensic case where the only available materials consisted of charred human remains and a minute quantity of blood that were unsuitable for standard PCR. Use of nested PCR allowed the blood and burned tissue to be identified as human female. Analysis of two PCR length polymorphisms (AMPFLP) was successful on the blood sample and reverse paternity testing yielded a 98% probability that the blood spot was from the victim. The defendant was convicted of murder following a bench trial and the verdict was upheld by the Appellate court.
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