Mumbai: State’s forensic labs to get rapid DNA testing kits

Mumbai: Soon, Maharashtra forensic science laboratories would be getting a new ‘RapidHIT system’ which would detect the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) samples within two hours or less. The officials said that proposal has been sent to the state government regarding this machine, as it will help the police tackle sexual assault cases and identify mangled dead bodies in an effective manner, which is not time-consuming.

The RapidHIT system uses DNA collected from mouth swabs which will generate forensic DNA profiles in less than 90 minutes. “Usually when DNA samples are being detected by using conventional DNA extraction methods it at least takes two to three days. But by this system, it will take less time and will give an accurate identification of an individual dead body within 90 minutes,” said Dr Krishna Kulkarni, Director of FSL. It will help to generate evidence faster for judicial scrutiny. “We have forwarded our demand to the government for rapid DNA testing equipment. The equipment is combined with the three processes of extraction, proliferation, and DNA fingerprinting. It can be also used in identify mass casualties from plane crashes,” added Dr Kulkarni.

The officials said that the machine will be kept at the Mumbai Forensic Science Laboratory and on the basis of its results more machines would be deployed to other forensic science laboratories in Nagpur, Pune, and Aurangabad. “The cost of the equipment is expected to be more than Rs 2 crore and it will process nine samples in three hours. Due to which the workload will be reduced,” said a senior official.

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