Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

EUROFORGEN-NOE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 285487
Funded under: FP7-SECURITY
Country: Germany

Virtual forensic genetics research centre

EU research has gathered new insights into technology to address specific scenarios with relevance to DNA-based genetic identification. Applications include terrorism, disaster victim identification, organised crime and threats to public security.
Virtual forensic genetics research centre
Forensic genetics is a new field of applied science that will have a huge impact on citizen security. However, genetic methods to identify offenders and the creation of national DNA databases could lead to violation of privacy rights. Moreover, applications such as the use of genetics to predict a person's visible characteristics are subject to concern.

The societal, legal and ethical dimensions of forensic genetics are being addressed by the EUROFORGEN-NOE (European forensic genetics network of excellence) project through the creation of a European Virtual Centre of Forensic Genetic Research.

The consortium integrated new research groups into the project and successfully transformed their website into a Virtual Centre of Forensic Genetic Research. A major achievement to ensure sustainability is the establishment of a forensic genetics training infrastructure.

Significant progress has been made in terms of advancing forensic DNA analysis. The areas of research are evidence discovery at the crime scene, advanced genetic analyses of new marker systems guiding the investigation and interpretation of complex genetic data in a forensic context.

Breakthroughs include agreement on sets of messenger RNA, microRNA and epigenetic DNA markers for the identification of human body fluids and tissues. Moreover, EUROFORGEN-NOE released a prototype marker panel for prediction of biogeographic ancestry of an unknown donor, e.g. from a biological sample found at a crime scene, using a worldwide set of DNA samples to test its predictive power.

Scientists also developed open source software to interpret complex DNA profiles, simulate forensic polymerase chain reaction experiments and perform deconvolution of mixtures to find likely profiles from mixed trace DNA samples.

Project partners completed the first ever 'Audit on DNA legislation in Europe' survey as well as a comprehensive report on European-wide public perception of forensic DNA analysis. Dissemination activities include participation in meetings, workshops and congresses, a Facebook group and publication of papers.

EUROFORGEN-NOE activities and the Virtual Centre is improving collaboration between relevant scientific working groups and societies. Besides acting as a keystone of long-term integration of research efforts, they will ensure a high and sustainable quality of investigation that will benefit the European security sector.

Related information

Subjects

Security

Keywords

Forensic genetics, genetic identification, citizen security, DNA databases, DNA analysis
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