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Forensic DNA Services

Our accredited forensic science services are utilized to determine the identity of the source of the DNA profile in a variety of situations, including:

DNA profiling of the evidence from the crime scene

The Forensic DNA Department has the advanced capabilities to extract and test DNA samples from a number of everyday items collected at the crime scene.  

Sexual assault kits

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office Forensic DNA Department processes Sexual assault kits using autosomal STRs (PowerPlex Fusion) and Y-STR (PowerPlex Y23) technologies.

“Touch DNA”

“Touch DNA” refers to the DNA that is left behind from skin cells when a person touches or comes into contact with an item.  

Humans shed tens of thousands of skin cells each day, and these cells are transferred to every surface our skin contacts. When a crime is committed, if the perpetrator deposits a sufficient number of skin cells on an item at the scene, and that item is collected as possible evidence, touch DNA analysis may be able to link the perpetrator to the crime scene. Touch DNA has been successfully sampled from countless items including gun grips, steering wheels, eating utensils, and luggage handles, just to name a few. By using “Touch DNA” techniques, the Forensic DNA department can work on the evidence from “breaking and entry” cases and examine guns and other weapons for possible DNA.    

Cold cases

Low Copy Number DNA profiling allows a very small amount of DNA to be analyzed, from as little as 20 to 25 cells.    

Non-fatal cases


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