The DNA Analysis Unit routinely examines evidence for the presence of biological material, develops DNA profiles utilizing scientific techniques, and analyzes and interprets the data. Using the analysts’ interpretations, conclusions may be drawn as to whether an individual is able to be included or excluded as a possible contributor to the DNA profile identified on the evidence. Many DNA evidence profiles can be entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for routine search. DNA profiles in CODIS are searched against DNA profiles from individuals required by State and Federal Law to provide a reference DNA sample as well as DNA profiles from other cases. This provides potential for unknown DNA evidence profiles to be associated with a known individual, resulting in an investigative lead for the submitting law enforcement agency. For more information about CODIS please refer to the DNA Databank Unit.
The DNA Analysis Unit also performs specialized DNA testing referred to as Y STR testing. Y STR analysis targets DNA from males. This may be useful in sexual assault cases where the amount of male DNA present may be much lower relative to the amount of female DNA recovered from evidence. All DNA analysts at the DFS are qualified to perform Y STR analysis. The DNA Analysis Units are in two locations: Madison and Milwaukee. To support the unit, there are more than sixty analyst and technician positions.
A DNA Analysis Submission Questionnaire is available. Please complete this questionnaire and include the document with the submission of evidence for DNA analysis.
**New Interpretation Tool**
The DNA Analysis Unit has recently implemented a new DNA interpretation technology, Probabilistic Genotyping (PG) [i.e. STRmix™]. This new interpretation tool assists the DNA Analyst in resolving previously uninterpretable profiles. This tool is limited to cases in which DNA analysis was performed using the currently validated DNA testing kit and analysis equipment. As a result, DNA testing performed prior to January 1st, 2019 may not be eligible for PG. For questions, please contact the DNA Analysis Unit in Madison or Milwaukee.
Training is available upon request in the areas of Biological Evidence Collection, Sexual Assault Collection, and Forensic DNA Analysis. Questions about scheduling training should be directed to the DNA Analysis Unit Supervisors.
Forensic paternity analyses are performed when criminal activity results in a pregnancy. This requires a DNA sample from the biological mother, the child (or product of conception), and the alleged father. If the alleged father is unknown, the DNA types attributable to the biological father may be entered into CODIS to be searched.
Assistance with Genetic Genealogy
The laboratory does not perform forensic genealogy casework. The laboratory does have individuals who are trained to assist investigators in reviewing case documents and evidence to determine the best samples for testing. The DNA Analyst will also assist with communication between the investigator and the laboratory performing the forensic genealogy testing. For more information please see this page.
DNA Analysis Evidence Submission Guidelines, Rev. 02/2019
For questions regarding DNA Analysis, refer to the contact information for the lab in your service area.