Prasad, E, Barash, M, Hitchcock, C, van Oorschot, RAH, Raymond, J, McNevin, D & Gunn, P 2020, 'Evaluation of soaking to recover trace DNA from fired cartridge cases', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Prasad, E, Van der Walt, L, Cole, A, van Oorschot, RAH, Barash, M, Gunn, P & Raymond, J 2019, 'The effects of soaking for DNA recovery on the striation patterns of fired cartridge cases', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 51, no. S1, pp. S35-S38.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. The recovery of trace DNA from fired cartridge cases has recently gained increased interest throughout the literature, with a variety of methods currently being explored. Soaking fired cartridge cases in a lysis buffer holds potential in producing meaningful DNA profiles; however, chemical interactions between the lysis buffer and brass cartridge cases may limit the efficacy of this method. This preliminary study examines the effects of soaking on the microscopic striation detail of brass and nickel 9 mm Parabellum (9 mmP) calibre and.22 Long Rifle (.22LR) calibre fired cartridge cases. Headstamp and coarse striation patterns on 9 mmP fired cartridge cases and finer striation patterns along the outer wall of.22LR fired cartridge cases were microscopically examined prior to and following soaking. Soaking was performed by submerging the fired cartridge cases in 380 µl of ATL buffer (Qiagen, Germany) for 20 minutes. Microscopic analysis of brass and nickel 9 mmP and.22LR fired cartridge cases showed that coarse and fine striation detail remain unaffected following soaking. These results indicate that comparative ballistics examinations may be performed following DNA recovery using the soaking method.
Raymond, J & Sheldon, P 2015, 'Standardizing shoemark evidence - An Australian and New Zealand collaborative trial', Journal of Forensic Identification, vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 868-883.
Previously, Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions were operating with widely different conclusion scales and terminology in shoe and tire mark comparisons. This study compared the variability in responses to such comparisons through two collaborative trials of six comparison exercises. The first used the status quo in each jurisdiction; the second required respondents to use the conclusion scale recommended by the shoe and tire Scientific Working Group (SWGTREAD) in the United States. The adoption of the new conclusion scale greatly improved the clarity and comparability of conclusions. Excepting outliers that would likely be negated through technical reviews in casework, the range of conclusions for each comparison was slightly reduced in the second trial. Participants were observed to be conservative in their responses, erring on the side of exclusion rather than inclusion. A significant observation is that close non-matches may not be detected, even by experienced examiners. It is essential that in conclusions of this type, the examiner makes clear to the court that another shoe of the same pattern and dimensions could have made the mark. The benefits of a standard conclusion scale and terminology were made clear by this exercise, and therefore the new conclusion scale is recommended for use in Australia and New Zealand.
Raymond, J, Van Oorschot, R, Walsh, SJ, Gunn, PR & Roux, CP 2011, 'How far have we come with trace DNA since 2004? The Australian and New Zealand experience', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 231-244.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In 2004, a survey was sent to forensic organisations in every jurisdiction in Australia and New Zealand, benchmarking practices in relation to trace DNA analysis. Concerning issues were identified such as a lack of standard training protocols, little ongoing training or proficiency testing, and poor information gathering and sharing. To assess the changes occurring in the five years since this survey, a follow-up was devised and distributed to the same organisations in early 2009. Seventy-seven surveys were received from persons active in the field of trace DNA including crime scene and laboratory personnel, and managers. The major difference noted between the two surveys was the implementation of new technologies, primarily robotic automation and subsequent changes in extraction methodology. Disappointingly, training, research and proficiency test levels were still found to be lacking, a concern given the findings of recent international forensic reviews. A major deficiency still noted from the 2004 survey was the absence of effective data management systems, indicating that the wider intelligence-led application of this evidence is not fully utilised. Reviewing the methods and processes of the dissemination of forensic data in the policing environment has the potential to broaden its application to crime prevention strategies
Raymond, JJ, Van Oorschot, R, Gunn, PR, Walsh, SJ & Roux, CP 2009, 'Trace DNA success rates relating to volume crime offences', Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 136-137.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In this study, 252 trace DNA samples (from handled surfaces) from 201 burglary, robbery and drugs cases were compiled to assess success rates and to interpret the value of trace DNA evidence in volume crime investigations. The average amount of DNA recovered from the trace DNA samples collected was 1.7 ng. Full or major (12 or more alleles) profiles were recovered from 14% of samples. Samples from firearms and burglary points of entry were the least successful. Mixtures were recovered from 21% of samples, presenting a case for the collection of more elimination profiles to enable more samples to be used for database purposes. The research highlighted the difficulties in collecting data relating to the success rates of samples. Computerised automation of this process would be extremely beneficial in the assistance of policy development, method application, training, and investigative usefulness.
Raymond, JJ, Van Oorschot, R, Gunn, PR, Walsh, SJ & Roux, CP 2009, 'Trace evidence characteristics of DNA: A preliminary investigation of the persistence of DNA at crime scenes', Forensic Science International: Genetics, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 26-33.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The successful recovery of trace or contact DNA is highly variable. It is seemingly dependent on a wide range of factors, from the characteristics of the donor, substrate and environment, to the delay between contact and recovery. There is limited research on the extent of the effect these factors have on trace DNA analysis. This study investigated the persistence of trace DNA on surfaces relevant to the investigation of burglary and robbery offences. The study aimed to limit the number of variables involved to solely determine the effect of time on DNA recovery. Given that it is difficult to control the quantity of DNA deposited during a hand contact, human buffy coat and DNA control solution were chosen as an alternative to give a more accurate measure of quantity. Set volumes of these solutions were deposited onto outdoor surfaces (window frames and vinyl material to mimic burglary and `bag snatch offences) and sterile glass slides stored in a closed environment in the laboratory, for use as a control. Trace DNA casework data was also scrutinised to assess the effect of time on DNA recovery from real samples. The amount of DNA recovered from buffy coat on the outdoor surfaces declined by approximately half over two weeks, to a negligible amount after six weeks. Profiles could not be obtained after two weeks. The samples stored in the laboratory were more robust, and full profiles were obtained after six weeks, the longest time period tested in these experiments. It is possible that profiles may be obtained from older samples when kept in similarly favourable conditions.
Raymond, JJ, Van Oorschot, R, Walsh, SJ, Roux, CP & Gunn, PR 2009, 'Trace DNA and street robbery: A criminalistic approach to DNA evidence', Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 544-546.View/Download from: Publisher's site
It is now routine to detect trace DNA from handled objects, and with such low quantities of DNA the principles of criminalistics are now more relevant to biological evidence. This study aimed to provide data into the abundance, transfer and persistence of trace DNA, in a particular crime scenariostreet robbery. Items commonly stolen during a robbery (handbags and wallets) were swabbed to determine the background levels of DNA present. The likelihood of DNA transferring onto wallets during and after a robbery was investigated, as was the amount of handling time needed for the offender's DNA to become a major component in the recovered profile. A significant amount of DNA was recovered from wallets and bags in regular use, including small amounts of non-owner DNA. This indicates that background DNA may interfere with the recovery of offenders DNA. Profiles recovered from wallets stolen in a simulated robbery were in the majority mixtures, however the robber was a major component of the mixture or a single source profile in 40% of the profiles. The findings demonstrate that background data on the trace evidence characteristics of DNA will aid its interpretation and presentation in criminal trials.
Raymond, JJ, Van Oorschot, R, Walsh, SJ & Roux, CP 2008, 'Do you know what your neighbour is doing?. A multi-jurisdictional survey', Forensic Science International: Genetics, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 19-28.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Since 1997 the analysis of DNA recovered from handled objects or 'trace' DNA has become routine and is frequently demanded from crime scene examinations. However, this anlaysis often produces unpredictable results. The factors affecting the recovery of full profiles are numerous and include varying methods of collectiona nd analysis. Communication between forensic laboratories in Australia and New Zealand has been limited in the past due in some part to sheet distance. Because of its relatively small population and low number of forensic jurisdictions this region is in an excelllent position to provide a collective approach. However, the protocols training methods and research of each jurisdiction had not been widely exchanged. A survey was developed to benchmark the current practices involved in trace DNA analysis, aiming to provide information for training programs and research directions, and to identy factors contributing to the success or failure of the analysis.
Raymond, JJ, Walsh, SJ, Van Oorschot, R, Gunn, PR, Evans, L & Roux, CP 2008, 'Assessing trace DNA evidence from a residential burglary: abundance, transfer and persistence', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 442-443.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Raymond, JJ, Roux, CP, Du Pasquier, E, Sutton, J & Lennard, CJ 2004, 'The effect of common fingerprint detection techniques on the DNA typing of fingerprints deposited on different surfaces', Journal of Forensic Identification, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 22-44.
DNA and fingerprints are two of the most important forms of evidence in terms o their ability to individualize person. This study investigated the effect of common fingerprint detection techniques of the recovery of DNA from fingerprints.It was found that the recovery of DNA is possible after fingerprint development using certain techniques, and that the recovery is more dependent on the surface type rather than the enhancement technique used. Fingerprints placed on plastic bags, glass microscope slides, and adhesive tape returned DNA profiles before and after treatment, which consisted of while light, UV, dactyloscopic powders, Stickyside Powder, and cyanoacrylate plus rhodamine 6G stain or VMD treatment.The profiles that were obtained from these surfaces were often found to contain contamination peaks, and at this stage, trace DNA analysis of this type may be more useful as an intelligence tool, rather than being relied upon in court for identification purposes. No DNA profiles were obatined from treated or untreated prints on paper an aluminium foil substrates.
Raymond, JJ, Walsh, SJ, Van Oorschot, R, Gunn, PR & Roux, CP 2004, 'Trace DNA: an underutilised resource or Pandora's Box? A review of the use of trace DNA analysis in the investigation of volume crime', Journal of Forensic Identification, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 668-686.
Spectacular advanctes in DNA technology have greatly expanded its applicability to forensic science. As the processes become sufficiently sensitive to detect trace DNA, a vast number of crime scene samples not previously considered for analysis are now able to be tested. However, in spite of these obvious benefits, trace DNA analysis raises problems not often considered by investigators and forensic scientists. This paper discusses the history and development of trace DNA analysis. It suggests a trend of underutilisation and discusses issues surrounding its application and alternative uses for the results gained. The approach in the past has been that DNA evidence was solely employed as an absolute form of evidence and consequently, research focused primarily on increasing sensitivity and discrimination power. We are suggesting that DNA evidence should be treated as any other trace evidence. Research to provide data for basic trace evidence properties of deposit, presence, transfer and persisitence may allow trace DNA analysis to be more effectivly utilised in the investigation of crime. Together with recent developments in forensic intelligence, this research could facilitate the progressive applications of trace DNA analysis to volume crime investigations, an outcome wuth the potential to reduce the rate of volume crime and contribute to crime prevention strategies.