ICMP Launches Online DNA Database to Assist DNA Laboratories and Manufacturing Companies

Work in ICMP Sarajevo lab

Work in ICMP Sarajevo lab

23 August 2013: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that it has created an Online DNA Elimination Database (EDB). DNA consumable manufacturers and DNA laboratories will now be able to use the EDB to eliminate unknown external contaminants and protect persons working in the forensic analysis supply chain.

Over the last two decades DNA profiling has become an important tool in criminal investigations. DNA analysis is the only forensic method capable of linking evidence to specific individuals consistently and with a high degree of certainty. However, the widespread use of DNA analysis has also led to genetic material being recovered from investigators, DNA analysts and other forensic practitioners and persons working in the DNA consumables supply chain.

The purpose of the ICMP EDB is to provide forensic laboratories and police investigators with an anonymous, secure and searchable online database of DNA profiles to search for contaminations originating with manufacturers or as otherwise detected in DNA laboratories.

The EDB has been developed by ICMP in cooperation with the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENSFI), as well as with DNA consumable manufacturers, with the aim of advancing public safety, the expediency of forensic investigations and to protect persons who have physical contact with substances that will be subjected to forensic analysis.

“ICMP is very proud that we have been trusted by manufacturers and laboratories to carry out this important task. It is an acknowledgement of the effectiveness of our data protection policies and improves even further our capabilities in using DNA in missing persons forensic work”, said Dr. Thomas Parsons, ICMP Director of Forensic Science Programs.

ICMP was created in 1996 to secure the co-operation of governments in the Western Balkans in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of armed conflicts. Today, ICMP is actively involved in helping governments and other institutions in various parts of the world address social and political issues related to missing persons and establish effective identification systems in the wake of conflict or natural disaster.

Since November 2001 – when ICMP’s missing persons identification system came online – ICMP received reference samples from over 96,700 persons from around the globe.