Saturday, January 14, 2006

DNA tests start from Sunday

Lalitpur, Jan 14-The National Forensic Science Laboratory (NAFOL) will administer the Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) tests on fresh blood samples for paternity identification from sunday . The NAFOL is opening for the tests after readying itself for over a year, testing equipment and preparing a database of Nepali population to get a broad DNA sample.

A NAFOL committee meet held last week had passed a code of conduct to administer the DNA tests. As per the code of conduct, the tests should be conducted only on fresh blood samples. The individuals interested in DNA tests for paternity identification will have to present themselves at the lab at the time of the tests. Every first week of Nepali month, the NAFOL will collect blood, on the second and third weeks, the collected blood samples will be analysed and on third to fourth week, final reports on the tests will be given, said Jiwaan Rijal, executive director of NAFOL.

“Rs 8,000 will be charged per test. Expensive chemicals and our limited resources have not allowed us to make the tests more cost effective,” Rijal added.

At present, the DNA tests will only be done on fresh bloods samples. The NAFOL has a long way to go before it starts tests on forensic samples for crime investigation, Rijal said.He said that the tests were only being offered by the lab at NAFOL considering the probability of contamination and alteration of blood samples.

Rijal said that the NAFOL was under immense pressure to conduct DNA tests aimed at solving, inter alia, gang rape cases and pregnancies resulting from pre-marital affairs. “We are entering a new era of justice administration after the introduction of the DNA tests,” he said.“Since small variations can alter the results drastically, these tests should be conducted very carefully. The NAFOL has been under pressure to maintain accuracy. We had to practice for a year before the tests were carried out among the public,” he said. The NAFOL is staffed by three persons: executive director Rijal and two other scientists.

No comments: