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Extra info for The FBI DNA Laboratory: A Review of Protocol and Practice Vulnerabilities

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On August 23, 2002, Blake executed an 41 affidavit attesting to these facts. The OIG referred the matter to the Department’s Public Integrity Section for a prosecution decision. On May 18, 2004, Blake pled guilty in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to a misdemeanor charge of providing false statements in her laboratory reports. In her interview with the OIG, Blake explained that she wanted her cases to run smoothly and not to show contamination. Some Laboratory employees have speculated that the reason that she failed to process the negative controls was because she lacked confidence in her ability to master PCR/STR testing methods, which are far more sensitive to contamination than RFLP procedures.

The Serologists examine evidence and take cuttings or swabbings in one room. The PCR Biologists extract the DNA from the cuttings or swabbings in a second room under a hood. They also prepare the extracted DNA for amplification in that room. The actual amplification process takes place in a third room. Once the DNA has been amplified, the DNAUI addresses the potential for amplification-related contamination as follows: • Once employees work in the amplification room, they are not allowed to go back into a pre-amplification area for the remainder of the day.

The Board’s mission was to develop and revise, as necessary, standards for quality assurance, including proficiency testing standards for laboratories and analysts that examine DNA. The Board members acknowledged that TWGDAM had begun this work and that the Board should build upon it. The Board fulfilled its mission with the submission to the FBI Director of quality assurance standards for two types of DNA laboratories: • Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories (Forensic Standards), effective October 1998.

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The FBI DNA Laboratory: A Review of Protocol and Practice Vulnerabilities by U.S. Department of Justice


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