Specialists from the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences (INTCF) of the Ministry of Justice, share their experience and advise the professionals of the laboratory of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Honduras
Through laboratory methods, scientific advances enable the treatment of tissues and bone remains for their identification through genetic analysis.
When the forensic expert only has this type of sample, it is necessary to take a series of steps ranging from the suitable collection and treatment of the remains to obtaining a specific genetic profile. This can happen when the soft tissues are badly damaged or when bones of a certain degree of ageing are found.
Within the framework of the ICRIME project, specialists from the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences (INTCF) of the Ministry of Justice, share their experience and advise the professionals of the laboratory of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Honduras, supporting the genetic analysis of tissues and bone remains.
With the collaboration of Spanish specialists, the Honduran forensic laboratory works intensively on the analysis of bone remains. However, for this effort to have a scientific and judicial impact, it must meet a series of quality criteria, which is why it is essential to validate the technique under which work is underway.
Until now, the laboratory did not have a DNA quantification method that would enable the success of DNA extraction to be determined and provide guidance on the quality of the analysed samples’, explains Carolina Núñez, physician of the biology service of the Barcelona Department of INTCF.
Normally, in the analysis of bone remains, the DNA samples that are found are usually critical, of low quantity and quality, so it is very important to be able to choose the analysis methods that could be used based on the material available.
In this regard, the Honduran laboratory has just incorporated the Quantifiler Trio DNA Quantification kit (Thermo Fisher) as a quantification method. The physician clarified that “It is a very useful method for making decisions when carrying out genetic analysis, especially when it comes to analysing bone remains where samples are usually critical, with a low quantity and quality of DNA”.
With Núñez’s collaboration, the laboratory professionals have performed the necessary experiments to use this technique reliably, through the design and validation of the procedure used.
It is planned to continue working with the laboratory until ISO accreditation is obtained for the genetic analysis of bone remains. This joint work is possible thanks to the mobilisation of Spanish specialists through the FIIAPP within the framework of the project financed by the European Union, ICRIME.