The FBI has approved a new DNA database system that will speed up the process of matching various DNA samples to identities.
Law enforcement booking stations will use the new Thermo Fisher Scientific database to automatically upload and process DNA samples from qualified suspects within 90 minutes, according to a press release.
“Rapid DNA analysis at the time of booking is a powerful investigative tool that can quickly and securely link arrestees to other serious crimes, providing significant public safety benefits,” said Joanie Brocato, former head of DNA at the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory and the current department head of the clinical laboratory sciences program at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, said Thursday in a statement.
The DNA database system, the first of its kind, can also help exonerate innocent people, Thermo Fisher said in the press release.
“DNA processing and research, while the suspect is in custody, significantly reduces the time required to identify or eliminate a potential suspect and decreases the risk of reoffending or absconding,” Brocato continued. “It also helps to further fill in the gaps about the missed arrestee collections that are happening today.”
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He added that the FBI’s endorsement of the system “demonstrates that rapid DNA at a reservation station can be used responsibly, in a way that maintains the quality and integrity of the combined DNA index system. (CODIS), while helping law enforcement expedite the identification of potential perpetrators.”
Shares of Thermo Fisher Scientific fell about 2% on Thursday after heavy trading on Wednesday.
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Thermo Fisher has already to be under fire for selling DNA database material to China’s Xinjiang region, where Muslim minorities have faced ethnic cleansing and other forms of abuse and discrimination, including heavy surveillance, by the Party Chinese communist.
The company said it would stop selling its equipment to China, but government documents obtained by The New York Times in June To display that their products continue to arrive in the country.