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Pentagon researchers hone in on rapid DNA identity tests

An artist's representation of DNA.
An artist's representation of DNA.

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Scientists working with the Department of Defense say they are closer to DNA analysis that takes just 90 minutes instead of two to three weeks, as first reported by USA Today.  The science of DNA analysis revolutionized criminal investigations - small and large.  Reducing the time DNA analysis takes to just 90 minutes could greatly aid law enforcement in criminal investigations.  According to USA Today, rapid DNA analysis programs being tested by the Pentagon could allow investigators to test DNA in the field, as opposed to sending samples to a clean lab.

According to Jenn Elzea, a pentagon spokeswoman that spoke with USA Today, Pentagon researchers expect to finish prototypes of the Accelerated Nuclear DNA Equipment system by June. Elzea said the Pentagon is developing guidance “for the use of rapid DNA analysis.”  

What impacts will faster DNA identification have on criminal investigations? Aside from law enforcement, what fields will benefit from faster DNA testing? How will rapid DNA analysis be regulated?  


Chris Asplen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Rapid DNA Testing; Former U.S. Assistant Attorney. Global Alliance is a trade association established to ensure the reliability of rapid DNA testing as it is integrated into judicial systems and other applications