Solving more sexual assault cases with improved DNA collection technology
SEATTLE—February 21, 2014—( AAFS 66th Annual Scientific Meeting)—M-Vac Systems today announced findings of a University of California(UC)-Davis study revealing the superior results from its unique DNA collection technology tested against legacy collection methods. Compared to traditional swabbing and cutting techniques to recover cellular material, the M-Vac System recovered more actionable, measureable DNA, or was able to cover a larger surface area. This is critical when biological deposit locations are unknown. Study findings are being presented at this week’s meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Science.
"From our first series experiments, we have demonstrated that the M-Vac is an excellent trace DNA collection system on porous substrates such as human skin and clothing items,” states Chris Hopkins, Director of the UC Davis Forensic Science Graduate Program. “We are conducting additional experiments with the M-Vac to examine additional forensic applications. This technology may have a significant impact on our ability to examine evidence that would not have been examined otherwise."
The UC-Davis studies focused on scenarios involving large surface area requirements, recovering minute or degraded DNA material from skin, with limited knowledge of where to sample. This is common to sexual assault crimes where biological stains may not be visible. Researchers tested the hypothesis that the M-Vac’s wet vacuum technique allows the analyst to sample larger areas and collect higher yields of suspect DNA material from a victim’s skin and clothing. See Infographic HERE.
First, the system was tested against the swabbing method to collect male saliva from a female’s skin (pre- and post-shower) as in sexual assault cases. Second, researchers compared the M-Vac and the cutting method in collecting suspect touch DNA from cotton. This test is especially important since investigators have some success recovering DNA samples from victims clothing or other fabric using the cutting method, but are limited by surface area. In all cases, “the M-Vac makes the collection of biological evidence from skin and fabric plausible without being hindered by surface area limitations.” Another key observation was the M-Vac collected a more favorable ratio of suspect DNA versus victim DNA when sampling saliva from skin, an important outcome in determining DNA profiles in sexual assault cases. The M-Vac System© is a liquid based biological evidence collection system. Simply, the wet vacuum sprays a sterile buffer while simultaneously vacuuming the liquid with any cellular material that was present on a wide variety of surfaces.
“I don’t think criminals like us very much,” states Jared Bradley, CEO for M-Vac Systems. “M-Vac was recently used by Utah law enforcement to solve an 18 year old case because our system found enough DNA from the porous surface of a rock. That criminal is now behind bars and we look forward to helping solve more tough cases where DNA may be undetected by older technology.” See the M-Vac in action as the system is highlighted as an innovation in CSI technologies on Feb 23, 7pm EST, on TV show TechKnow. About M-Vac Systems M-Vac Systems, Inc. creates, develops, and manufactures a patented DNA collection system for use by law enforcement agencies and crime labs. The patented M-Vac System enables investigators to solve more crime through better DNA collection. It helps detectives and crime scene investigators close heinous crimes and cold cases where legacy processes fall short. www.m-vac.com