Cellmark Forensic Services will soon be offering next-generation sequencing (NGS) services to law enforcement agencies in the UK after receiving ISO17025 accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The company is a forensic DNA specialist, and is the first UK laboratory to receive official NGS certification.
Verogen supported Cellmark’s efforts achieve that particular milestone, and will also provide Cellmark with technology that will help the company carry out its primary sequencing operations. To that end, Verogen will supply Cellmark with its ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit, which helps labs gather a viable DNA sample and break it down in a manner that is compatible with legacy DNA systems. Cellmark will also take advantage of Verogen’s MiSeq FGx System and its Universal Analysis Software, both of which will help streamline its forensic workflows.
The ForenSeq Prep Kits can help scientists isolate a wide variety of genetic markers like hair and eye color, even when using low-quality samples that have deteriorated over time. That information can then be used to guide a criminal investigation and determine the relationships of various individuals.
Cellmark consulted with Verogen to strengthen its sequencing capabilities as it approached its accreditation test. The Forensic Information Databases Service, the Biometris and Forensics Ethics Group, UKAS, and several police forces provided additional technology expertise.
“NGS is a huge leap forward in forensic DNA technology, and this accreditation demonstrates that it meets the rigorous standards necessary for introduction into forensic laboratories,” said Verogen CEO Brett Williams. “This partnership with Cellmark will help bring closure to families looking for answers.”
“Cellmark has a long history of forensic innovation,” added Cellmark Managing Director David Hartshorne. “This accreditation and our close partnership with Verogen will allow us to deliver far greater forensic information than has previously been possible.”
The news comes shortly after QIAGEN signed on to distribute Verogen’s products internationally. Reports and Data has indicated that the demand for forensic technology will surpass $50 billion by 2027.
October 19, 2021 – by Eric Weiss