We’ve all heard the stories of DNA tests in criminal cases that take months before results are known to law enforcement officials. Needless to say, waiting for those results is akin to watching paint dry. However, at risk is a criminal who may strike again before his identity is discovered. Well, that wait time may soon be a thing of the past. Enter Rapid DNA Testing (R-DNA).
Law enforcement is one step closer to a mere two-hour wait time for answers to their DNA whodunit questions. In fact, using a device such as the RapidHIT 200 Human Identification System, a positive DNA match could be received in as little as 90 minutes. And, that process just may move out of forensic laboratories into the hands of law enforcement officers and detectives. Think about it, soon there may one of these devices at every booking station in every police station and sheriff’s office across the country. Even samples from crime scenes will produce answers in minutes.
Suspect doesn’t want to provide his name? Fingerprints burned off to hide an identity? No problem. A simple swab of the inside of a cheek and presto…instant ID. Well, ID results would be immediate if the thug’s information is in the system. But chances are in the officer’s favor that the suspect is a repeat customer.
These portable, desktop devices would also serve well during mass disaster scenarios. The ability to identify victims quickly would certainly provide a small amount of comfort to the families who now must wait weeks and months to learn the fate of their loved ones.
The RapidHit 200 device comes complete with nucleic acid purification and short tandem repeat (STR) amplification reagents that produce the speedy DNA profiles from human samples. The reagents come in disposable cartridges that eliminate the need for human contact during the process, which, in turn, eliminates possible contamination and false testing results.
Basically, the RapidHit is as almost as simple as plugging in a cartridge containing the reagent, loading the human sample, and then hitting the power switch. Not much more complicated than operating a toaster, wouldn’t you say?
Finally, mystery writers, you have a way of making your pages turn faster. DNA results in minutes and you don’t have to rely on fiction to make it happen.
Nope, no more monkeying around with the plot to make the DNA fit the story.
Gee, what’s next, a mind-reading device that notifies the police when a crook is thinking about committing a crime? Who knows, that sort of thing just might be on the drawing board this morning.
Oh, wait, I forgot that a Utah university researcher has developed a thought-to-text device that’s 90% accurate when it translates a person’s thoughts into words. Don’t want to answer the officer’s questions? No problem, they’ll soon be skipping the interview and interrogation by attaching a few electrodes to a suspect’s head and let his thoughts tell the story.
And you thought it was scary to have a mere few thousand cameras hanging around the country watching your every move. It’s time for your skin to really start crawling now, because they know what you’re thinking…
* By the way, R-DNA was the method of DNA testing used to confirm that the U.S. had indeed killed Osama Bin Laden.
IntegenX Inc. and Promega Corporation image of RapidHit200