Presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 16–21, 2009, in Denver, CO.
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 58, Issue 1, pages 206–209, January 2013
How to Cite
Edson, S. M. and Christensen, A. F. (2013), Field Contamination of Skeletonized Human Remains with Exogenous DNA. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 58: 206–209. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02270.x
The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not those of the U.S. Government, Department of the Navy, Department of the Army, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (MRDC), or the American Registry of Pathology (ARP). Mention of any product is merely a statement of use and should not be construed as an endorsement.
- Issue published online: 11 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 30 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Received: 20 JUN 2011
- forensic science;
- mitochondrial DNA;
- forensic anthropology;
- skeletal remains;
- ancient DNA
The Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory reports the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of over 800 skeletal samples a year for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command–Central Identification Laboratory. These sequences are generated from degraded skeletal remains that are presumed to belong to U.S. service members missing from past military conflicts. In the laboratory, it is possible to control for contamination of remains; however, in the field, it can be difficult to prevent modern DNA from being transferred to skeletal elements and being carried forward through the analysis process. Four such cases are described here along with the controls in place in the laboratory to eliminate the possibility of the exogenous DNA being reported as authentic. In each case, the controls implemented by the laboratories prevented the false reporting of contaminant exogenous DNA from remains that were either faunal or human, but lacked endogenous DNA.