The rape catastrophe in the U.S.
A major cause of the DNA backlog is the fact that conventional DNA testing requires highly skilled scientists to perform numerous procedures by hand, to make a series of challenging technical decisions, and to interpret complex data. In addition to substantial technical expertise, the process requires a sophisticated laboratory with specialized instruments. Despite substantial investments in labs over the years, an enormous sample backlog has developed. Forensic laboratories are overwhelmed with the sheer volume of samples that must be processed.
The average rapist commits 12 rapes before apprehension – timely DNA testing would allow capture in many cases after a single assault.— UMass and Brown School of Medicine
The need for faster DNA testing is clearest regarding unsolved rapes in the U.S. According to CDC studies, nearly 1 in 5 American women (18.3%) are raped at some time in their lives (males are the victims of rape as well). Women of all ethnicities are affected. Assaults begin in childhood and are pervasive by college, with 23.1% of females experiencing rape or sexual assault on campus. Considering the prevalence of the emotional, physical, and financial costs of rape, it is shocking that over 400,000 rape kits are backlogged across the country. Rape often goes unreported, adding to the magnitude of the problem.
ANDE offers the ability to change the paradigm in SAK (Sexual Assault Kit) testing. By dramatically simplifying DNA testing, rape kits can be processed immediately following the sexual assault exam, in the hospital setting. Forensic nurses and SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) nurses can collect samples for processing, allowing law enforcement personnel to identify suspects much more quickly. Generating results quickly is critical in stopping rapists; when SAK samples are not processed quickly, repeat offenses are rampant.
It will take a concerted effort to end the rape catastrophe in the U.S., and ANDE can help.
How it Works:
Far more accurate than a fingerprint, DNA is the gold standard for identification. ANDE can be deployed in police stations or hospitals and is designed to be operated by non-technical personnel. In the hospital, law enforcement would work with SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurses to run the tests and significantly reduce the incidence of sexual assault by identifying and removing offenders before they have the opportunity to re-offend or escalate their actions.
ANDE is the first and only Rapid DNA system:
…to receive FBI NDIS Approval
…to pass military grade ruggedization tests
…that equals or betters existing laboratory processes
…that enables non-technical operators to process crime scene samples
…with consumables that do not require refrigeration
…that automatically interprets DNA fingerprints and allows routine searching of DNA databases
…to feature PrivacyGuard™ protection
A DNA fingerprint is a set of information about an individual’s genome that uniquely identifies that person. The chance that two people (except identical twins) share the same DNA fingerprint is incredibly small, less than one in a trillion trillion (that’s a one followed by 24 zeros)! DNA fingerprinting is the gold standard of human identification, far exceeding conventional fingerprints, iris, and facial recognition in accuracy and reliability. It should come as no surprise that DNA fingerprinting is applied in a wide range of disciplines, including law enforcement, paternity testing, and disaster victim identification. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, laboratory DNA analysis requires weeks, months or – in some jurisdictions – years. This leads to case backlogs and increases the time required to solve crimes.
Law enforcement, the Military, first responders, and others responsible for public safety need a new approach to solve the DNA testing problem. The ANDE Rapid DNA System is that new approach.
The ANDE Rapid DNA System:
Rapid DNA is the fully-automated (hands free) process of developing a DNA fingerprint. The “sample in – results out” process consists of four basic steps:
- DNA Purification. The forensic sample (blood, bone, tissue, cheek swab, and many more) is treated to release DNA. The DNA is freed from impurities.
- DNA Amplification. Several small regions of the pure DNA are copied. These regions were chosen by the FBI because they vary in size from person-to-person.
- DNA Separation. The size of each of the regions is determined.
- Data Analysis. Based on the DNA sizes, a unique DNA fingerprint is generated.
In 2016, ANDE received the first and only FBI approval of a Rapid DNA System. This approval is for a system that tests 16 regions of the human genome from cheek swabs. ANDE has developed a test for 27 regions of the human genome, in part because the FBI recently revised the U.S. standard to at least 20 regions. ANDE’s work has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals – for more information, please click on the following links:
Comprehensive Summary of the ANDE System (first publication of the FlexPlex Assay (2017) FlexPlex-2017-International_Journal_of_Legal_Medicine.pdf
Developmental Validation Study for FBI Approval (2016): Forensic Sci Int Genet 2016 Della Manna.pdf
Crime Scene Samples in the ANDE System (2016): Investigative Genetics 2016 Turingan.pdf
Simplicity of Design and Operation:
ANDE is easy to use and consists of the following components:
The ANDE instrument contains all of the hardware and software required for fully automated DNA fingerprint generation and analysis. The instrument is portable and ruggedized; it requires no recalibration after transport. The instrument can be installed and ready to run samples in under 20 minutes from unpacking and can be easily operated by non-technical personnel.
The ANDE chip performs all steps required for DNA fingerprinting, including DNA purification, DNA amplification, and DNA separation. The chip contains all required reagents and is stable at room temperature for 6 months. The operator simply places the samples in the chip and the chip into the instrument – no other handling is required to generate the DNA fingerprint.
Automated Data Analysis and Data Management Software:
The ANDE System uses software for automated data interpretation and generation of DNA fingerprints. The ANDE System also comes with the FAIRS (Federated ANDE Information Retrieval Software) that allows the ANDE data to be used with DNA databases.
All of these features come with an emphasis on privacy protection – ANDE generates no information concerning an individual’s health or geographic origin. The DNA fingerprint simply identifies you – not anything about who you are.
How to use ANDE:
Patents and Trademarks:
US 8961765:Plastic microfluidic separation and detection platforms
US 8858770:Plastic microfluidic separation and detection platforms
US 8720036:Unitary biochip providing sample-in to results-out processing and methods of manufacture
US 8425861:Methods for rapid multiplexed amplification of target nucleic acids
US 8206974:Ruggedized apparatus for analysis of nucleic acid and proteins
US 8173417:Ruggedized apparatus for analysis of nucleic acid and proteins
US 8018593:Integrated nucleic acid analysis
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