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Ninety Minute Forensic DNA Test System Now Available

New York City police officer in Time Square

(A. Kotok)

IntegenX Inc. in Pleasanton, California, a developer of human DNA identification technology, says its RapidHIT 200 system for DNA testing in criminal investigations is now on the market. The system, which the company says can produce a standard DNA profile in about 90 minutes, is being demonstrated at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego.

The company says the RapidHIT 200 is designed to identify suspects while they are still in custody. The test takes a suspects DNA sample from a cheek swab, and tests for variations in DNA sequences called short tandem repeat polymorphisms. The data output from the RapidHit200, says IntegenX, can be matched against the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) national database maintained by the FBI, and common European DNA testing formats.

IntegenX says current analytical methods require eight steps, with each step often requiring different instruments, taking 10 hours of lab time, and up to 30 days turnaround time from an external lab. RapidHIT 200, says the company, is a desktop system that can be run by a non-scientific technicians with minimal training, and produce DNA profiles in about 90 minutes.

A match on the CODIS database with a DNA profile connected to a similar crime can be used to establish probable cause, which enables police and prosecutors to use more intrusive methods, such as evidentiary DNA samples, wiretaps, and search warrants. Evidentiary DNA samples are those given more extensive testing and can be used as court room evidence. Conversely, the absence of a CODIS match can lead to a suspect being removed from further investigation.

The following video tells more about the IntegenX system and its use in law enforcement.

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