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Texas DPS Rapid DNA Analysis Fact Sheet

    1. What is Rapid DNA or Rapid DNA Analysis?

Rapid DNA, or Rapid DNA Analysis, describes the fully automated (hands free) process of developing a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) Core Loci STR profile from a reference sample buccal swab. The "swab in – profile out" process consists of automated extraction, amplification, separation, detection, and allele calling without human intervention.


   2. What is Modified Rapid DNA Analysis

Modified Rapid DNA Analysis describes the automated (hands free) process of developing a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) Core Loci STR profile from a known reference sample (from a person). This process consists of integrated extraction, amplification, separation, and detection without human intervention, but requires human interpretation and technical review in an accredited crime laboratory.


   3. Are there additional quality assurance and legal requirements for the use of Rapid DNA instruments/systems?

In the State of Texas, all DNA analysis must be completed in a manner consistent with CODIS guidelines. At this time, that means the analysis must be performed in an accredited laboratory. Additionally, based upon recommendations from the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM), the FBI Director approved and issued The Addendum to the Quality Assurance Standards for DNA Databasing Laboratories performing Rapid DNA Analysis and Modified Rapid DNA Analysis Using a Rapid DNA Instrument (or "Rapid QAS Addendum"). The Addendum contains the quality assurance standards specific to the use of a Rapid DNA instrument by an accredited laboratory; it took effect December 1, 2014.


   4. Are there any Rapid DNA systems approved for use at NDIS (National DNA Index System)?

No.  As of January 1, 2017, there is no Rapid DNA system that is approved for use by an accredited forensic laboratory for performing Rapid DNA Analysis.

A Rapid DNA system was previously approved for use by an accredited forensic laboratory for performing Rapid DNA Analysis; that approval was effective until December 31, 2016 and expired as the approved system does not contain the 20 CODIS Core Loci required as of January 1, 2017. Additionally, no Rapid DNA system has been approved for use in a law enforcement booking station or agency currently.


   5. Can a Rapid DNA instrument/system be used by an accredited forensic laboratory to develop DNA profiles from known reference samples for upload to CODIS and NDIS?

No, see #4. The current Rapid DNA instruments do not have a kit that contains all CODIS Core Loci.


   6. Can a Rapid DNA instrument/system be used by an accredited forensic laboratory to develop DNA profiles from crime scene (forensic) samples for upload to CODIS and NDIS?

No, the analysis of crime scene (forensic) samples by a Rapid DNA instrument/system would not be compliant with the FBI Director's Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories ("Forensic QAS" Standards 9.4 and 12.2) and is not covered by the Rapid DNA Addendum. The FBI continues to monitor the development of Rapid DNA technology to address the range of crime scene samples. Forensic DNA records that are not compliant with the FBI's QAS are not permitted to be searched in or uploaded to CODIS.


   7. What is the goal of the FBI's initiative for the use of Rapid DNA in a booking station?

The goal of the FBI's Rapid DNA initiative is to integrate Rapid DNA instruments housed in a booking station within the existing CODIS structure. These instruments will be capable of producing a CODIS-compatible DNA profile within 2 hours with the expectation of searching an arrestee's profile against unsolved crimes while that arrestee is still in police custody. The FBI is working to integrate this technology into CODIS laboratory operations, then into police booking locations.


   8. Do these goals include the use of Rapid DNA technology on crime scene (forensic) samples?

The DPS Crime Laboratory Service continues to monitor the development of Rapid DNA technology. At this time, the DPS is not focusing on the use of Rapid DNA technology on crime scene (forensic) samples because of the differences between forensic and known reference (offender/arrestee) samples. These differences may include the nature or type of sample, typical sample quantity, and potential for reanalysis. A forensic sample may not be amenable to fully automated processing due to limitations in its quality and quantity. Current Federal - statutes prevent the use of Rapid DNA profiles developed from crime scene samples. State statute currently prevents the use of Rapid DNA technology outside an accredited laboratory.


   9. Will Rapid DNA technology help forensic laboratories with the current DNA case backlogs?

This technology will not help the DPS laboratory system with our current DNA case backlog. The focus of Rapid DNA testing is to develop a known offender/arrestee DNA profile for CODIS entry. Because Rapid DNA technology cannot be used to develop a DNA profile for CODIS entry from crime scene (forensic) samples the technology will not help reduce the current DNA case backlog at our casework laboratories across the state.


   10. Is there an expected implementation date for the use of Rapid DNA technology in booking environments by law enforcement agencies?

As a consequence of these outstanding issues and the need for legislative changes, it is difficult to estimate when law enforcement agencies will be able to search profiles developed by a Rapid DNA system in CODIS and NDIS. The FBI will continue its collaboration with other law enforcement agencies in the testing and evaluation of the available Rapid DNA systems as well as support for legislative changes necessary for implementation of this technology.


   11. Where can I get more information on the FBI's Rapid DNA Program?

You can access the FBI's Rapid DNA information page at:
https://www.fbi.gov/services/laboratory/biometric-analysis/codis/rapid-dna

You may contact the FBI directly regarding Rapid DNA at:
RapidDNA@fbi.gov