Denise Syndercombe-Court

Denise Syndercombe-Court
King's College London | KCL · Department of Forensic Science and Drug Monitoring

About

146
Publications
21,362
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4,457
Citations
Citations since 2016
18 Research Items
1600 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250

Publications

Publications (146)
Article
Forensic age estimation is a DNA intelligence tool that forms an important part of Forensic DNA Phenotyping. Criminal cases with no suspects or with unsuccessful matches in searches on DNA databases; human identification analyses in mass disasters; anthropological studies or legal disputes; all benefit from age estimation to gain investigative lead...
Article
Full-text available
Individual age estimation can be applied to criminal, legal, and anthropological investigations. DNA methylation has been established as the biomarker of choice for age prediction, since it was observed that specific CpG positions in the genome show systematic changes during an individual’s lifetime, with progressive increases or decreases in methy...
Article
Inference of biogeographic origin is an important factor in clinical, population and forensic genetics. The information provided by AIMs (Ancestry Informative Markers) can allow the differentiation of major continental population groups, and several AIM panels have been developed for this purpose. However, from these major population groups, Eurasi...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: Our animal friends are more and more frequently found in our houses making them one of the biggest DNA shedders in the home. This means that evidence collected at crime scenes is often of canine derivation. Being able to determine the breed of dog from DNA evidence could provide important intelligence that will help the investigations....
Presentation
The purpose of this project, in collaboration with the KRG Ministry of Health in Iraq, is to analyse volunteer family samples and to build a database of individuals including the “Lost children of Halabja”, in the hope that the families can be reunited. In the late ‘80s a chemical attack was launched on the people of Halabja in the Kurdistan regio...
Presentation
Retrieving information from crime scene stains, that can help point forensic investigators in the right direction when it comes to identifying unknown individuals, has been the major focus of recent forensic research. With information on date of birth being officially registered and available to the police, the ability to accurately determine an in...
Presentation
The need to retrieve intelligence information from crime scene samples forms a crucial component of forensic investigations and establishing an individual’s chronological age from a crime scene stain can prove a great asset in numerous scenarios. DNA methylation levels have been proven to correlate strongly with age in certain loci and, when couple...
Article
The introduction of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) to forensic genetics has led to improvements in multiple aspects of DNA analysis, however additional complexities are concurrently associated with these advances. In relation to STR analysis, the move to assign alleles using sequence rather than length based methodologies has highlighted the e...
Poster
Forensic investigations can benefit substantially from intelligence information, and the accurate estimation of an individual’s age has the potential to serve as a great asset in numerous scenarios. Approaching ageing as a biological phenomenon that occurs in part through differentiation in gene expression, the search for age predictors has focused...
Research
Full-text available
This is a public guide to DNA in criminal investigations which provides widely accessible information on the capacities and limitations of current and some emerging DNA technologies used in criminal justice.
Article
A collaborative European DNA Profiling (EDNAP) Group exercise was undertaken to assess the performance of an earlier described SNaPshot™-based screening assay (denoted mini-mtSNaPshot) (Weiler et al., 2016) [1] that targets 18 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) positions in the mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region and allows for discrimination o...
Chapter
Forensic DNA testing has had a significant impact on the investigation of crimes and the process has attained infallibility status in the minds of many involved in the medico-legal system. This has led to some significant miscarriages of justice in Australia and elsewhere. DNA fingerprinting, despite becoming increasingly sensitive, is not infallib...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Attending this presentation will give attendees the opportunity to learn about the potential of applying epigenetic markers in forensic age prediction. This presentation will impact the forensic science community by proposing a quantitative next generation sequencing (NGS) approach in estimating chronological age and demonstrating its accuracy, re...
Chapter
Epigenetics can offer a forensic investigator intelligence to help identify a perpetrator when a DNA profile is available, but this does not match with any database held by law enforcement. Using a hypothetical crime, we illustrate its future potential. The methodologies of linking a biological stain to the cellular source of the DNA profile are di...
Conference Paper
The ability to estimate the age of the donor from recovered biological material at a crime scene can be of substantial value in forensic investigations. Aging is complex and associated with various molecular modifications in cells that accumulate over a person’s lifetime. The aim of this study was to use age-specific DNA methylation patterns to pre...
Article
DNA-based prediction of hair morphology, defined as straight, curly or wavy hair, could contribute to an improved description of an unknown offender and allow more accurate forensic reconstructions of physical appearance in the field of forensic DNA phenotyping. Differences in scalp hair morphology are significant at the worldwide scale and within...
Article
Africa is the cradle of all human beings, and although it has been the focus of a number of genetic studies, there are many questions that remain unresolved. We have performed one of the largest and most comprehensive meta-analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages carried out in the African continent to date. We generated high-throughput mtDNA...
Article
There is increasing interest in forensic ancestry tests, which are part of a growing number of DNA analyses that can enhance routine profiling by obtaining additional genetic information about unidentified DNA donors. Nearly all ancestry tests use single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), but these currently rely on SNaPshot single base extension che...
Article
Full-text available
Androgenetic alopecia, known in men as male pattern baldness (MPB), is a very conspicuous condition that is particularly frequent among European men and thus contributes markedly to variation in physical appearance traits amongst Europeans. Recent studies have revealed multiple genes and polymorphisms to be associated with susceptibility to MPB. In...
Article
Full-text available
We report on a novel application of real-time reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (real-time RT-LAMP) to identify the presence of a specific body fluid using blood as a proof-of-concept model. By comparison with recently developed methods of body fluid identification, the RT-LAMP assay is rapid and requires only one simple...
Article
The integrity of urine samples collected from athletes for doping control is essential. The authenticity of samples may be contested, leading to the need for a robust sample identification method. DNA typing using short tandem repeats (STR) can be used for identification purposes, but its application to cellular DNA in urine has so far been limited...
Article
Full-text available
Trisomy 21 (T21), Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of dementia and intellectual disability. Modelling DS is beginning to yield pharmaceutical therapeutic interventions for amelioration of intellectual disability, which are currently being tested in clinical trials. DS is also a unique genetic system for investigation of pathologi...
Article
The field of research and development of forensic short tandem repeat genotyping remains active, innovative and focused on continuous improvements. A series of recent developments including the introduction of a sixth dye have brought expanded STR multiplex sizes while maintaining sensitivity to typical forensic DNA. New supplementary kits complime...
Article
Full-text available
In a worldwide collaborative effort, 19,630 Y-chromosomes were sampled from 129 different populations in 51 countries. These chromosomes were typed for 23 short-tandem repeat (STR) loci (DYS19, DYS389I, DYS389II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS385ab, DYS437, DYS438, DYS439, DYS448, DYS456, DYS458, DYS635, GATAH4, DYS481, DYS533, DYS549, DYS570,...
Article
Full-text available
We estimate the population genetics parameter (also referred to as the fixation index) from short tandem repeat (STR) allele frequencies, comparing many worldwide human subpopulations at approximately the national level with continental-scale populations. is commonly used to measure population differentiation, and is important in forensic DNA analy...
Data
Relevant for various areas of human genetics, Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (Y-STRs) are commonly used for testing close paternal relationships among individuals and populations, and for male lineage identification. However, even the widely used 17-loci Yfiler set cannot resolve individuals and populations completely. Here, 52 centers generate...
Data
Full-text available
Relevant for various areas of human genetics, Y-chromosomal STRs (Y-STRs) are commonly used for testing close paternal relationships amongst individuals and populations, and for male lineage identification. However, even the widely used 17-loci Yfiler set cannot resolve individuals and populations completely. Here, 52 centers generated quality-cont...
Article
Full-text available
Relevant for various areas of human genetics, Y-chromosomal STRs (Y-STRs) are commonly used for testing close paternal relationships amongst individuals and populations, and for male lineage identification. However, even the widely used 17-loci Yfiler set cannot resolve individuals and populations completely. Here, 52 centers generated quality-cont...
Data
Table S6. RM Y-STR and Yfiler haplotypes obtained from the 12,272 individuals in 111 global populations
Data
Table S8. RM Y-STR and Yfiler haplotypes for male relative pairs
Data
Table S7. Allele frequencies and ranges for individual populations, regional groups, and the complete dataset for each RM Y-STR marker
Article
Full-text available
The peopling of Greenland has a complex history shaped by population migrations, isolation and genetic drift. The Greenlanders present a genetic heritage with components of European and Inuit groups; previous studies using uniparentally inherited markers in Greenlanders have reported evidence of a sex-biased, admixed genetic background. This work f...
Article
Full-text available
The IrisPlex system is a DNA-based test system for the prediction of human eye colour from biological samples and consists of a single forensically validated multiplex genotyping assay together with a statistical prediction model that is based on genotypes and phenotypes from thousands of individuals. IrisPlex predicts blue and brown human eye colo...
Article
The European DNA Profiling Group (EDNAP) organized a fourth and fifth collaborative exercise on RNA/DNA co-analysis for body fluid identification and STR profiling. The task was to identify dried menstrual blood and vaginal secretion stains using specific RNA biomarkers, and additionally test 3 housekeeping genes for their suitability as reference...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Estimating the biological age of an individual could be very beneficial in forensic investigations. Ageing is biologically complex and leads to a series of biochemical changes in cells and tissues. A simple and accurate molecular estimation would be advantageous; however this remains a challenge. Although various genetic methods based...
Poster
Full-text available
Estimating the age of the donor from a bloodstain would be very beneficial in police investigations as it could reduce the number of suspects. A decline of gene regulation occurs over time; DNA methylation patterns have been proven to modify with age and have shown to be associated with age-related diseases. Hannum et al. (2013) identified 71 age-a...
Poster
Full-text available
Body fluid analysis does not only aid potential identification of the donor, but also can help reconstruct the sequence of events. Determining whether the biological material originates from semen may be very informative in sexual assault cases. Current confirmatory testing, such as microscopic identification of sperm heads or mRNA profiling, is of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Body fluid analysis does not only aid in identifying its potential donor, but also reconstructing the sequence of events taken place at a crime scene. Determining whether the biological material originates from semen can be extremely informative in sexual assault or rape cases. Despite its usefulness, current presumptive or confirmatory...
Article
Upon re-testing of a DNA extract as part of a defence examination, a discordant result was observed at D16S539. Further STR testing and DNA sequencing of the sample identified the cause as a primer binding site mutation which was shown to be a previously unreported SNP. The testing results obtained in this case are considered in light of the curren...
Article
A third collaborative exercise on RNA/DNA co-analysis for body fluid identification and STR profiling was organized by the European DNA Profiling Group (EDNAP). Twenty saliva and semen stains, four dilution series (10-0.01μl saliva, 5-0.01μl semen) and, optionally, bona fide or mock casework samples of human or non-human origin were analyzed by 20...
Conference Paper
Analysis of body fluid stains found at a crime scene does not only aid in identifying its potential donor, but also in reconstructing the sequence of events that took place. Despite their usefulness, current enzymatic and immunologic presumptive tests are applicable only to a subset of body fluids and might suffer limitations such as low specificit...
Article
The relative merits of reduced-intensity allogeneic stem cell transplantation (RISCT) for high-risk indolent lymphoid malignancies are emerging, although the preferred conditioning regimen to manage the risks of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is not clearly defined. Here we report the outcome of 73 patients with lymphoid malignancies who received...
Article
The GenPlex™ HID System (Applied Biosystems - AB) offers typing of 48 of the 52 SNPforID SNPs and amelogenin. Previous studies have shown a high reproducibility of the GenPlex™ HID System using 250-500pg DNA of good quality. An international exercise was performed by 14 laboratories (9 in Europe and 5 in the US) in order to test the robustness and...
Article
Family studies can be used to measure the genetic distance between same-chromosome (syntenic) STRs in order to detect physical linkage or linkage disequilibrium. However, family studies are expensive and time consuming, in many cases uninformative, and lack a reliable means to infer the phase of the diplotypes obtained. HapMap provides a more compr...
Article
Full-text available
We constructed a simple STR pentaplex of new loci recommended as next generation markers for the European Standard Set (ESS) comprising normal-amplicon STRs: D12S391 and D1S1656, plus mini-amplicon STRs: D2S441, D10S1248 and D22S1045. Validation of the pentaplex included evaluation of its ability to amplify DNA from a variety of degraded forensic c...
Article
Prenatal paternity testing is an area of human identification that raises many ethical questions and is often portrayed in a negative light. In most cases, fetal samples are obtained using invasive techniques and the associated risks to the pregnancy necessitate careful consideration before embarking on such a course of action. Although the risk of...
Article
In the field of paternity testing, inconsistencies between tested individuals can point to non-paternity or the presence of a mutation or mutations. We report on a case where one inconsistency was observed between a putative father and his daughter following routine STR typing using Powerplex-16 (Promega) and SGM Plus (Applied Biosystems). A three-...
Article
Analysis with commonly available STR kits can sometimes fail to produce sufficient information in immigration cases containing only one parent. In these cases, not only does paternity/maternity need to be assured, but also other possible relationships dismissed (e.g. avuncular relationships).We have taken more than 50 of these cases and investigate...
Article
Historically, protein variants have been investigated for the purposes of human identification using electrophoresis and immunological techniques. These methods require considerable operator expertise and are often time consuming and labour intensive. Many of the reagents employed carry potential health risks and are becoming more difficult to obta...
Article
Pet hairs are easily transferred during contact between individuals or between individuals and a crime scene and this, combined with high levels of dog ownership in the UK, means that dog hair is frequently recovered as evidence. Until recently, forensic investigators were limited to microscopic analyses in order to examine such material, a techniq...
Article
The population-specific SNP set developed by the SNPforID consortium comprises 34 SNPs enabling accurate differentiation between three major population groups: European, African and East Asian. If a South Asian population (from the Indian subcontinent) was also analyzed, the assignment error rate increased due to a lack of sufficient differentiatio...
Article
We report the results of an inter-laboratory exercise on typing of autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) for forensic genetic investigations in crime cases. The European DNA Profiling Group (EDNAP), a working group under the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG), organised the exercise. A total of 11 European and one US foren...
Article
Full-text available
Many biologic markers are associated with poor prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but their mechanistic role remains unclear. Bax is an essential proapoptotic protein and decreased levels in malignant cells lead to resistance to apoptosis. Using a Bax degradation activity (BDA) assay, CLL cells were found to show variable Bax instabil...
Article
Using a 52 SNP marker set previously developed for forensic analysis, a novel 49plex assay has been developed based on the Genplex typing system, a modification of SNPlex chemistry (both Applied Biosystems) using oligo-ligation of pre-amplified DNA and dye-labeled, mobility modified detection probes. This gives highly predictable electrophoretic mo...
Article
The advantages of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing in forensic genetics are well known and include a wider choice of high-throughput typing platforms, lower mutation rates, and improved analysis of degraded samples. However, if SNPs are to become a realistic supplement to current short tandem repeat (STR) typing methods, they must be sho...
Article
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) has a strong hereditary component, but an understanding of predisposition genes is poor. Anticipation with familial CLL has been reported, although the molecular mechanism is unknown. Expansion of trinucleotide repeat sequences underlies anticipation observed in neurodegenerative disease. A polymerase chain react...