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J Forensic Sci. 2005 May;50(3):627-9.

An alternative for the extraction and storage of DNA from insects in forensic entomology.

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  • 1Centre for Forensic Science, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia.


An important area of recent research in forensic entomology has been the use of insect DNA to provide identification of insects for fast and accurate estimation of time since death. This requires DNA to be extracted efficiently and in a state suitable for use in molecular procedures, and then stored on a long-term basis. In this study, Whatman FTA cards were tested for use with the Calliphoridae (Diptera). In particular, testing examined their ability to effectively extract DNA from specimens, and store and provide DNA template in a suitable condition for amplification using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The cards provided DNA that was able to be amplified from a variety of life stages, and thus appears to be of sufficient quality and quantity for use in subsequent procedures. FTA cards therefore appear suitable for use with calliphorids, and provide a new method of extraction that is simple and efficient and allows for storage and transportation without refrigeration, consequently simplifying the handling of DNA in forensic entomological cases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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