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Application of Low Copy Number STR Typing to the Identification of Aged, Degraded Skeletal Remains*

Authors

  • Jodi A. Irwin M.S.,

    1. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP Annex, 1413 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850.
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  • Mark D. Leney Ph.D.,

    1. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command—Central Identification Laboratory, 310 Worchester Avenue, Hickam AFB, HI 96853.
    2. Current address: Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Jamaica Plain, MA 02310.
    3. Current affiliation: Scientific Advisor, The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, 1005 Glebe Road, Suite 170 Arlington, VA 22201.
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  • Odile Loreille Ph.D.,

    1. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP Annex, 1413 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850.
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  • Suzanne M. Barritt M.S.,

    1. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP Annex, 1413 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850.
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  • Alexander F. Christensen Ph.D.,

    1. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command—Central Identification Laboratory, 310 Worchester Avenue, Hickam AFB, HI 96853.
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  • Thomas D. Holland Ph.D.,

    1. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command—Central Identification Laboratory, 310 Worchester Avenue, Hickam AFB, HI 96853.
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  • Brion C. Smith D.D.S.,

    1. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP Annex, 1413 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850.
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  • Thomas J. Parsons Ph.D.

    1. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP Annex, 1413 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850.
    2. Current address: International Commission on Missing Persons, Alipašina 45 A, 71000, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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  • *

    The opinions and assertions contained herein are solely those of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as views of the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of the Army, or the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Abstract

Abstract:  Low copy number (LCN) STR typing was successfully applied to four interesting cases during developmental validation of the approach for degraded skeletal remains. Specific questions were addressed in each case, with the acquisition of STR data largely serving as additional confirmatory or investigatory information in any specific situation, and not necessarily providing the definitive evidence to establish identity. The cases involve missing U.S. service members from World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. The variety of these cases, in terms of the questions addressed, the age of the remains, and the type of reference material available for comparison, demonstrates the broad utility of LCN STR typing in the identification of degraded skeletal remains from missing persons.

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