Isolation of Genetic Material (DNA) from bones and teeth
The DNAlogy laboratories, bringing innovation to the field of genetic analyses and DNA profiling, have developed and applied a new, powerful technique for DNA isolation from bones and teeth. This technique is particularly valuable to solve cases involving persons that have passed away, as bone and teeth are the only source of genetic material of a person after their death. The application of a novel protocol of isolation of genetic material from bone, in conjunction with our state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, allows DNAlogy scientists to identify DNA from even very old bones that are still in a good state.
Quality of bone genetic material
DNA starts degrading as soon as cells die; however, it remains intact in bones and teeth because of their rigid consistency, which provides extra protection. Nevertheless, the quality of genetic material isolated from a bone is influenced with a doubt by the extensive wear caused by time as well as by environmental conditions (humidity, pH, temperature, soil composition, oxygen levels, micro-organisms, etc). In addition, intrinsic factors such as the type and density of the bone can contribute to the good preservation of DNA.
Choice of bone for analysis
Initially, if there is still flesh left in the bone or even bone marrow will make this sample ideal for analysis. Then, given that size and the density of bones are factors that affect preservation of DNA, we choose larger bones (long bones), in particular the thighbone. Our next best choice are teeth due to the rigidity of the tissue, followed by smaller bones, which are not that dense and spongy (bones of the pelvis, ribcage, upper arm and skull. In any case, the DNAlogy Experts can evaluate and consider all factors to select the most appropriate bone sample to be analysed.
DNAlogy is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for DNA analysis from bone and tooth samples, which due to their particularities, need special processing. Extraction of DNA requires the application of sensitive techniques, adapted to the characteristics of such samples, which can be accomplished by using new protocols for sample collection and analysis, both with the aid of commercial kits and the use of organic solvents, and always following methodologies that adhere to international scientific rules.