Equipment Donations given to the FSL by The DNA Project

The DNA Project, since its inception, has not only purchased and provided the FSL with laboratory equipment for both the Pretoria and Western Cape Labs, but has initiated DNA forensic awareness training programs, developed a post graduate forensic analyst qualification, funded the UK Forensic Science Services review of SA’s FSL’s and is currently assisting with changes in legislation.

The following items on the FSL’s “wish list” have to date been donated to the FSL by the DNA Project:

Western Cape Lab
Gold 96-Well GENEAMP PCR System 9700
Canon 350 Digital camera
Laptop Computers
Hemospat Software
Pretoria Lab
Crimezone 3d Software
Hemospat Software
PhotomodelerPro Software
Garmin GPS

In addition to the above items, the Pretoria FSL has 8 Imaging Work stations which form part of the 2 Evidence Recovery Laboratories (ERL) – Each of these ERL’s needs a camera, macro lens, macro lighting flash, tripod and head, and (most importantly, given the requirement to use these images in court testimony) a Data Verification Kit (to verify the authenticity of the image – proof that no tampering had taken place with the image).

In response to this need, the DNA Project has provided the Pretoria FSL with:

  1. High-resolution digital cameras (compatible with DVK; see below).
  2. Data verification kits (DVK), to verify that images taken with the digital camera have not been altered, tampered with or manipulated in any way.
  3. Macro lens’, for recording fine detail of evidence.
  4. Flash units, to properly illuminate items being photographed in macro mode.
  5. Photo printers, to allow for photographic records to be printed for presentation in court cases.
  6. Tripods, suitable of facilitating macro photography in a studio environment.

The infinity curve, serving as a suitable backdrop to allow for the capturing of images not disturbed by distracting backgrounds (this is part of the supplies included in the current building contract). As important as the DNA profile is to securing a conviction, it is just as imperative to present irrefutable supporting evidence, e.g. with regards to the chain of custody, when having to testify in a court case. This is where this photographic work station comes in – to indicate the original condition, at the time of evidence recovery and examination of an object from which a DNA profile was retrieved, or to even capture the condition of a package containing evidence submitted for forensic examination, e.g. to indicate that the package was sealed properly at the time it was received, proving that the chain of custody was intact (no tampering with the evidence could have taken place), and therefore any DNA profiles obtained from the evidence may be accepted as valid.

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