Forensic Biology and DNA

We are part of the criminalistics unit and operate one of the most advanced forensic DNA processing facilities in Australasia with an efficient, end-to-end analytical and reporting workflow.

Our DNA analysis team uses a totally automated robotic processing system from start of DNA processing through to DNA interpretation and has a high throughput capacity currently processing 40,000 DNA samples per year. We offer very fast turnaround times, averaging 2 days from receipt to reporting results. 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.

Our Specialist DNA team has optimised methods for DNA recovery from highly compromised human remains, including skeletal remains and hair samples. The unit has been highly successful in recovering DNA profiles from bones over 100 years old from the First World War. 

Our Evidence recovery team examines crime scene exhibits to locate and identify biological fluids and other cellular evidence. The Evidence recovery team offers a specialised service for Sexual Assault investigations.

Our Case management team uses a reporting system electronically integrated with the NSW Police Force 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 is provided 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 Identification DNA Database to report DNA link information to the NSW Police Force
  • Intelligence-based familial searching capability for NSW

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 please contact Acting Deputy Director Criminalistics, Sharon Neville p. 9646 0222