The use of adhesive tape for recovery of DNA from crime scene items
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The selection of the appropriate method of collection of biological material from crime scene items can be crucial to obtaining a DNA profile. The three techniques commonly used for sampling items are: cutting, swabbing, and taping. The tape sampling technique offers an advantage, in that it enables the collection of a potentially highly informative source of DNA, shed epithelial cells, from selected areas on crime scene items (the inside fingers of a glove, for instance). Furthermore, surface collection of biological material by taping reduces co-sampling of known PCR inhibitors such as clothing dyes. The correct choice of tape for crime scene item sampling is important. Not all tapes are suitable for biological trace evidence collection as well as DNA extraction. We report on one tape that met both these criteria. Three different cases are presented which demonstrate the usefulness of adhesive tape sampling of crime items. Finally, the advantages of the tape collection technique are discussed and guidelines for preferred areas of tape sampling on various casework items are presented.
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