All that's needed is to insert the type of swab now widely used to collect DNA often from inside a cheek into the DNA-analysis kit and within 90 minutes, out pops the answer to what an individual's DNA is (not a full genetic analysis but what suffices for identification and perhaps confirming family relationships such as parent-child or sister-brother).If it's all that's available, and often it is, DNA analysis is an extremely valuable tool. Occasionally, time is of the essence and DNA is the only option. The full article describes the efforts of several organizations to return DNA results more quickly.
The goal is to get RapidHIT, a portable box-like device with integrated bio-science reagents, chipset, software and applications down to an hour. Jovanovich said there's been field testing with the Palm Bay, Fla., police department. Even the Department of Defense has taken the RapidHIT device to test it with Army volunteers in a Norfolk field exercise in May, he added, noting that one Army officer brought a swab from his son to see what the DNA-linked paternity outcome to him would be (he wasn't disappointed).
And then, there's this:
One pent-up need for a rapid DNA analysis kit is coming for the Department of Homeland Security's citizenship and emigration services, according to Christopher Miles, biometrics program manager at DHS.Biometric modalities are interesting. Different ones are good for different things. No other modality can determine biological family relationships which, in certain circumstances, are very important.
The uncomfortable realization that the government might be wasting a huge amount of time reading fraudulent documents and listening to lies was a lesson learned a few years ago in trying to help refugees in Kenya that wanted to emigrate to the U.S. In that instance, the U.S. government took about 500 DNA samples, did a lab analysis to verify family relationships, and found out 80% were fraudulent, Miles said.
It's not clear that "rapid" is necessary in this application because the gating factor on how long the immigration process takes isn't the time required for DNA testing. The ROI on shortening the turn-around time on a DNA test may not be there, but that 80% number is staggering.
Because "rapid" isn't that rapid and interacting with the biometric sensor is awkward, DNA, as a biometric modality is likely to remain at the "high value, low volume" end of the spectrum for a long time to come.