Forensic Genomics

More conclusive results in forensic testing are now a practical reality thanks to advances in genomics. Illumina technology and informatics deliver far more insight from DNA than traditional methods, with a much higher resolution than ever before possible. You’ll find the answers you need efficiently, cost-effectively, and with a greater degree of certainty.

Forensic Genomics

Genetic analysis continues to transform forensic investigations, with each technology advance enabling scientists to extract more and more information from forensic samples. The latest tool is next-generation sequencing (NGS).

NGS is just beginning to be used in forensic genomics laboratories. Early studies in short tandem repeat (STR) typing, mitochondrial DNA analysis, and dense panels of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) offer a tantalizing view of its advantages in revealing forensic DNA evidence from even the smallest, most fragile, and highly mixed samples.

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NGS in Forensics

It all starts with the re-synthesis of DNA from a template strand. While capillary electrophoresis (CE) distinguishes STR alleles of a few DNA fragments by length alone, Illumina sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology's massively parallel approach rapidly sequences large numbers of PCR amplicons. By delivering data that spans the genome, NGS can answer a wide range of questions in a single, targeted assay.

As the economics of whole genome sequencing become more attractive, individual human DNA sequencing will be more widely accessible, and the complete genetic code has the potential to become the new gold standard in forensic genomics. In the shorter term, the role of a targeted, high value forensic NGS panel will relieve outdated technology limitations and fill in some of the capability gaps.   

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Forensic Genomics Video

Hear from Dr Bruce Budowle about the future of Forensic Genomics.

NGS Advantages

Open-source MyFLq framework enables efficient analysis of MiSeq system data set of DNA mixtures.
Read iCommunity article

MiSeq system aids in identification of skeletal remains by sequencing mtDNA hypervariable regions.
Read application note »

Learn about the value NGS brings to Forensic Genomics

Forensic Genomics Application SpotlightRead about Targeted NGS for Forensic Genomics »


Mark Wilson WebinarView Dr. Mark Wilson's webinar on how to improve the resolution of forensic mtDNA samples. »


ISHI 24 poster from Brittania BintzView the ISHI 24 poster from Brittania Bintz on NGS »


Read the ISHI 24 recap on the Illumina blog »

Illumina NGS Empowering Science

Illumina industry-standard NGS platforms are proven and have been cited by scientists in more than 5,800 sequencing publications to date.

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Simple Workflows for Forensic Labs

The accuracy and ease-of-use of Illumina sequencers make them smart additions to forensic laboratories worldwide. Watch how Illumina's compact MiSeq system combines sequencing power with a simple load-and-go workflow. Sample preparation is fast and easy with Illumina's Nextera XT Sample Preparation Kit, which enables libraries to be prepared in less than 90 minutes with only 15 minutes of hands-on time.

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