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Antibody Profiling a New Law Enforcement Tool

test tubes
A new forensic tool for law enforcement uses antibody profiles rather than DNA as a human identification test. The new test, called the AbP ID, can produce results in about two hours and tests can be conducted in the field, rather than a laboratory.

Researchers at the Idaho Federal Laboratory have developed the AbP ID test and have licensed it exclusively to a startup Georgia company, Identity Sciences LLC. The test has been 10 years in development.

The test reads Individual Specific Auto-antibodies which are found in all human body tissues and fluids. Each individual, including twins, has an antibody profile that is unique, according to the researchers.

New Screening Tool

The antibody test is not intended to replace DNA for making exact human identification, but it can help investigators sort out victims and suspects at a crime scene and can speed up the process compared with having to submit samples to a lab.

The test can help investigators determine which suspects should undergo DNA testing.

Ken Haas of Identity Sciences said the antibody test can be used as a screening tool by law enforcement and the military to sort out the blood of multiple victims or identify body parts at the scene of a disaster or on a battlefield.

Advantages of Antibody Profiling

According to the company, the AbP ID test:
  • Does not require expensive equipment or highly skilled lab technicians.
  • Training can be completed within hours.
  • Tests do not have to be sent to specialized labs.
  • They do not require large evidence specimens

"We don't see this yet as a product to take to court," said Gene Venesky, vice president of Identity Sciences in a news release. "But we do see this as a way to get the case moving forward toward a final, legal resolution."

AbP ID tests using semen, saliva and perspiration that can return results in five hours are being developed by the company. Identity Sciences plans to begin rolling out test kits and training to law enforcement, the military and forensic and medical labs by the fall of 2009.

See Also:
A Faster, Cheaper Way to Catch Criminals
Identity Sciences Introduces a New, Fast Forensic Human I.D. Test

More Information:
Forensic Science
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