MadSci Network: Molecular Biology

Re: DNA/PCR, Heat Destruction Through Rendering

Date: Wed Jun 13 04:56:51 2007
Posted By: Dale L. Laux, Staff, Serology/DNA, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification
Area of science: Molecular Biology
ID: 1178536661.Mb

Hello Ann,

I doubt that the heating and rendering of the animal foods would degrade 
the mtDNA to the point that it would not be recognized.  Firstly, the 
primers that are used recognize small snipets of DNA that would survive 
the processing.  Secondly, the pcr process that was utilized did recognize 
bovine and swine DNA in the foods.  It's doubtful that the primer cocktail 
that they used would selectively inhibit one species of DNA from 

Also, notice that pentobarbital was found in 2 of 4 samples of food with 
no evidence of mammalian DNA.  This indicates to me that the source of the 
pentobarbital is from something else than animal remains (contamination 
from cleaners used on the equipment?)

Best Regards,

Dale L. Laux
Forensic Scientist

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