STR typing of formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) aborted foetal tissue in criminal paternity cases

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Journal Article
Science and Justice, 2011, 51 (1), pp. 19 - 23
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Sexual assault or rape cases occasionally result in unwanted pregnancies. In almost all such cases the foetus is aborted. A forensic laboratory may receive the foetus, the placenta, or paraffin embedded abortion material for paternity testing. Obtaining a foetal profile DNA from a foetus or placenta may not be successful due to the age or condition of the tissue. Moreover, maternal contamination of placental material will invariably result in a mixed DNA profile.However, the use of properly screened abortion material from paraffin blocks will almost always result in obtaining a foetal DNA profile. Furthermore, foetal tissue fixed in paraffin blocks does not require special conditions for submission and storage as required to preserve fresh foetal or placental tissue. As hospitals routinely prepare foetal tissue in paraffin blocks, which should be readily obtainable by forensic laboratories, these samples would appear to be the preferred choice for paternity testing. © 2010 Forensic Science Society.
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