FBI Presents M-Vac Forensic DNA Collection Data at SAFS Conference

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Forensic Science and Law Enforcement Communities Very Interested in M-Vac vs Swab Comparison

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The M-Vac may provide an alternative collection method on porous surfaces and when swabbing is unsuccessful.

Forensic DNA technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years, to include rapid DNA systems, genealogical DNA databases, new DNA markers and kits, and more aggressive DNA collection techniques and systems. For every one of those areas and products, the objective analysis the FBI conducts to determine feasibility and use in investigations is a milestone. Last week the M-Vac system also reached that milestone, with impressive results. In the FBI’s comparison validation, on substrates ranging from pressure-treated wood to automotive carpet, the M-Vac collected between 5 and 47 times more DNA material than the swabbing method.

The data was presented by visiting scientist Jessica McLamb, MS, at the Southern Association of Forensic Scientists (SAFS) Conference in Asheville, NC, and concluded with this summary: “The M-Vac may provide an alternative collection method on porous surfaces and when swabbing is unsuccessful.” This statement confirms that M-Vac Systems, the system manufacturer, has properly positioned the tool to investigators. The M-Vac system’s value to the forensic and law enforcement communities is not in totally replacing other collection methods such as swabbing, taping or cutting, but in giving investigators a new and more powerful option should one or more of the other methods fail to produce a profile.

“As a former detective and crime scene specialist I am impressed with the way the FBI scientists have approached this project. Evaluating a tool like the M-Vac requires them to look at the system from a lab and a crime scene perspective,” stated Sgt (Ret) Stewart Mosher. “It seems they are really going after it and challenging the system. When working a case, especially a high-profile case where your every move may be questioned, we can’t take a chance on equipment and methods that haven’t gone through the wringer. Everything I’ve seen is they are doing just that.”

In her presentation on Friday, Ms. McLamb discussed the data of Phase 1 and 2 of a planned 4-phase project. Phase 1 was Quality Assurance; Phase 2 was Compare FBI SOP vs M-Vac on Large Objects; Phase 3 will be Compare SOP vs M-Vac on Small Objects (such as rope, carpet and floor mat); and Phase 4 will be M-Vac After Swabbing on Large and Small Objects. Ms. McLamb estimates the project will be completed within the next two years.

“We are extremely excited about this data and the way the M-Vac performed in this study,” said Jared Bradley, president of M-Vac Systems. “Law enforcement agencies and crime labs around the world will be looking at this data and be assured that the M-Vac has a place in their forensic DNA collection plans. The M-Vac may not be used in every case, but if there are rough or porous surfaces, degraded DNA, or minute traces of DNA material, the M-Vac is a powerful option. If investigators only have one shot at getting a good profile and there’s minute amounts of DNA material, then the traditional methods may not get the job done. Why risk it? We tell all our customers ‘if you can see it (a biological stain like blood) then you don’t need the M-Vac. If you can’t, there is no better choice.’ That rule of thumb has served many agencies and cases well.”

The M-Vac System is being utilized by an increasing number of police agencies and crime labs both in the United States and internationally. As investigators are assigned difficult cases, having a tool like the M-Vac immediately available helps immensely. It can collect critical DNA evidence from a variety of surfaces at the crime scene, in the evidence processing facility or in the crime lab. As the world’s most advanced wet-vacuum forensic DNA collection system, the M-Vac opens up cases and evidence to potential DNA profiles that were not available in the past.

About M-Vac Systems
M-Vac Systems is the world’s leader in wet-vacuum forensic DNA collection. Made in the USA and engineered for maximum collection capabilities, M-Vac Systems’ technology is the most innovative and capable forensic DNA material collection tool available for crime scene investigators, forensic scientists, sexual assault nurse examiners and other law enforcement specialists. For a more detailed description of the product and validation data, visit Why M-Vac. Additional information and sales quotes can be obtained by contacting M-Vac Systems by phone or through the website.

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