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A New Forensic Tool

A new tool to aid investigators screen evidence at crime scenes will be available in late 2009 or early 2010. Hailed as a new groundbreaking forensic identification test, Identity Science’s “AbP ID” will be used as a screening tool for forensic DNA and will give results in as little as two hours.

The AbP ID test is based on the science of antibody profiling and analyzes Individual Specific Auto-antibodies (ISAs), which are found in blood, saliva, perspiration, tears, urine, and semen. These antibodies, unlike those that fight off viral infections like the common cold or influenza, rid the body of useless dead and diseased cells. A child’s antibody profile at birth is the same as the mother’s, but it will gradually change and finally stabilize into a unique profile that never changes after the age of two. Even identical twins have their own unique, individual antibody profile. The test works by exposing these ISAs to a specially produced, protein-covered substrate. A unique test result appears after it is developed with a series of fluids.

Initially validated for blood serum and dried blood, the test is unlike standard DNA profiling which examines chromosomes in nucleated human cells. AbP ID test results can be available in two hours, and are expected to be most effective as a quick, cost-effective screening tool to determine which suspects and evidence should undergo DNA testing.

As reported in MarketWatch.com’s article, “New, Fast Forensic Technology Wins R&D 100 Award,” Identity Sciences, Inc., and its development partner, the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, received a 2008 R&D 100 Award, a prestigious honor in the field of Applied Research. Gene Venesky, CEO Of Identity Sciences stated, “ We believe AbP ID will make significant contributions and advancements, not only in the field of forensics, but in homeland security, personnel recovery and healthcare.”

While antibody technology will not replace DNA as the unique system used for human identification in state and national databases, it may prove to be an efficient presumptive test to quickly screen possible evidence to be sent on for DNA testing.

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