Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis

The DNA analysis team uses a fully automated robotic processing system from start of DNA processing through to DNA interpretation and has a high throughput capacity currently processing in excess of 70,000 DNA samples per year.

We offer very fast turnaround times to support police in the early phase of an investigation. To achieve this we use a highly advanced integrated Laboratory Information Management System for automatic sample tracking and result reporting. The unit also provides a fast analysis capability to NSW Police for critical incidents with the capacity to report ‘cold hits’ on the DNA database in under 12 hours from the receipt of the crime sample.

The DNA team has optimised methods for DNA recovery from highly compromised human remains, including skeletal remains and hair samples. This work provides vital information in identifying unknown human remains for missing person investigations, disaster victim identification investigations and homicide investigations. The unit has been highly successful in recovering DNA profiles from bones, including some aged over 100 years old from the First World War. 

The Evidence Recovery team examines crime scene exhibits to locate and identify biological fluids and other cellular evidence. The Evidence Recovery team offers a specialized service for sexual assault and “cold case” investigations and has implemented an automated ‘spermsearcher’ microscope utilising Artificial Intelligence.

The Case Management team uses a reporting system integrated with the NSW Police information management system.  We use expert software for complex DNA interpretation and provide professional interpretation and reporting by experienced biologists. We specialise in:

  • Autosomal, Y-STR and mitochondrial DNA interpretation
  • Use of expert systems for interpreting complex DNA mixtures of up to five individuals
  • Expert testimony provision to courts at Local, District and Supreme Courts in all areas of forensic biology, analytical processes and DNA interpretation 
  • Database management as the custodians of the NSW DNA searching database
  • Ability to search DNA results on the NSW DNA database and the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database to report DNA link information to NSW Police
  • Intelligence-based familial searching capability both within NSW and nationally

Our Research Team is engaged in the evaluation of emerging technologies to continue to support the provision of an innovative service to NSW Police and the justice system.

If you would like any more information about Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis please contact Clint Cochrane (02) 9646 0222.