Cigarette butts are notably difficult samples in that they produce DNA that is contaminated with inhibitors of PCR. Typically, these substances are tars and phenolics from the smoke, paper additives and flavour additives. The range of additives may lead to different levels of inhibition from different brands, and to complicate matters, the brand is not always easily determined. Most methods in current usage solve the problem by adding a series of post-extraction steps to selectively remove inhibitors. These steps make the method complex, non-automatable, susceptible to contamination, and the many steps reduce DNA yields – a critical factor with trace samples.

The results of this study show that the forensicGEM cigarette method is a quick and easy method for extracting DNA from cigarette butts. While being substantially faster than current organic extraction methods, it is also capable of producing full profiles using AmpFlSTR® Identifiler® – a multiplex fingerprinting system that is particularly sensitive to inhibition.

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forensicGEM Universal

MicroGEM's forensicGEM Universal Kit provides users with a single tube solution for extracting DNA from a variety of forensically-relevant human samples.

Extracts DNA from forensic samples including saliva (liquid, swab, stains, storage card – FTA), blood (liquid, swab, stains, storage card – FTA), and tissue (solid, hair)

Produces high-quality single-stranded DNA proven for use with STR, PCR, qPCR and whole genome amplification

Each kit contains forensicGEM, Histosolv, BLUE buffer, RED+ buffer and ORANGE+ buffer

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