DNA Sequence In 24 Hours?

DNA sequencing is a very time consuming, compute intensive process. It requires taking millions of slices through a sample of molecules, and doing a large amount of image processing and other computation on electron microscope photographs of each slice.

This is something I have been involved with professionally, and am unaware of any system which could have done a positive DNA ID within 24 hours.

About stevengoddard

Just having fun
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58 Responses to DNA Sequence In 24 Hours?

  1. Mike Davis says:

    Do you believe in Magic? If scientists can look into the future and tell us what the climate will be like in 100 years within a tenth of a degree then DNA in 24 hours is child’s play!

    • glacierman says:

      You just need the right code, you know, like the code that can determine the global average temperature of the entire Earth 1000 years ago from three pine trees in Yamal.

    • Tony Duncan says:

      Mike,
      you are ignoring the degree of uncertainty in climate scientists models. They actually state very clearly that the range is between .0942-.10076 degrees.
      Sorry I can’t find the actual papers could you post a confirming link for me?

      • Mike Davis says:

        TonyD:
        With 10C degrees of uncertainty they found a 90% chance of .5C temperature change

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Mike,

        Who are THEY?

      • Mike Davis says:

        I do not know who THEY are! I was responding to your THEY!
        All the members of the Chicken Little Brigade produce the same credible evidence.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Mike,

        I refer to your comment above. I was commenting on your comment. often people do that on these blog things.
        “If SCIENTISTS can look into the future and tell us what the climate will be like in 100 years within a tenth of a degree then DNA in 24 hours is child’s play!”
        that was the THEY I was referring to. So it was YOUR they, not mine. So since you are so familiar with them it should be easy to show their .1° predictions.

      • Mike Davis says:

        Do you recall the 2007 report from the IPCC? Do you recall the report released just before Dopenhagen or the reports released leading up to Cancun?
        Do you recall reading about any of the model outputs?
        And you ask What Scientists?

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Mike,

        AHHH, You were talking about THOSE scientists. Hmmm. I don’t remember seeing any papers that predicted temps to within .1° by 2100. you really are going to have to supply the links to those. I obviously did not read them carefully.

  2. Phil. says:

    Apparently despite your experience you’re unaware of the FBI method using 13 STR loci which is the basis of the CODIS database. Using that method a result is easily achievable within 24 hrs (probably within 6 hrs, an hr to extract the dna, 2 hrs for the PCR and ~2hrs for the electrophoresis), unlike you I’ve not only used the method but I’ve taught it. You should get up to date since this is “something you’ve have been involved with professionally”.
    Once again you’re making stuff up on the fly!

    • Wow! So you you know what work I did on this and what I was aware of! You must be a mind reader too. And I’ll bet they had one of those systems on the helicopter.

      Can you provide some links backing up your claimed time frame?

      • Mike Davis says:

        Steven:
        It is top secret Shit and he would have to kill you after he told you! 😉
        I do not know which “Phil” is making these claims. However over the years the claims by the Phils have gotten excessively extreme. It is possible that all Phils are the top expert in their field or one Phil is a pathological liar and just makes shit up!

      • Mike Davis says:

        The Phil I know best is the one that spent the last 300 years exploring the polar regions and is now an expert on modeling ice conditions!
        Being a Mind Reader would not be outside of Phil’s abilities! 😉

      • Phil. says:

        You’re the one who made the claim:
        “This is something I have been involved with professionally, and am unaware of any system which could have done a positive DNA ID within 24 hours.” So I don’t need to be a mindreader.
        Since such systems are not only in existence but are routinely available in labs so it shows your knowledge is lacking. Such a system could undoubtably have been on the carrier, it’s about the size of of a microwave oven and would need a lab tech to run it. The PCR apparatus is in just about every bio research lab in the country and has a footprint of less than 1 sq ft.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Steve,

        I know it has been minutes, so you might have forgotten, but what you wrote (my emphasis) was “This is something I have been involved with professionally, and am unaware of ANY system which could have done a positive DNA ID within 24 hours.”

        Phil said there is such a system. Is he liar?
        I just did a google search and came up with this
        ” The robot can do 500 samples a day — many more than a human ever could.”
        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18435256
        Not sure that is the same thing, but it does seem to imply that there is at least one system capable.

        Your question of whether it was available is pertinent of course. The timeline does not seem to require a machine on the helicopter. it is likely no more than 500 miles to wherever they flew. So that is only 2-4 hours flying time. it seems reasonable that there might be a DNA tester in Afghanistan. I, of course, would want to see proof. A video of the technicians installing the machine while holding a newspaper with a date BEFORE the raid on Bin Laden’s compound.

      • climate creeper says:

        Here is a system that can do it under two hours: http://www.physorg.com/news201337861.html

      • The article you linked said that it “will” be able to do that at some point in the future. It also said

        “In reality, law enforcement officials often need days or weeks to process DNA samples at crime scenes through centralized public laboratories.”

      • Charles Higley says:

        DNA analysis does not compare all of the DNA, just a number of loci or markers. For all 8 or 12 markers to agree, such as with OJ’s DNA and the crime scene, the odds of it not being his DNA are in the 1 out of quadrillions.

        When there is a large source of DNA (e.g., the whole body) PCR processing to amplify the sample may not even be needed. Skip that step.

        The many slices and microscopic work you describe is not DNA analysis, which is thoroughly automated, is mostly chemical reactions in small vials, and done using gel electrophoresis and automated scanning of the resulting bands. (I used to teach molecular biology.)

        The analysis was undoubtedly done back on the mother navy ship, easily in 24 hours or even less. Call the FBI or a forensics lab and ask a few questions. They have made huge progress in recent years – it’s much cheaper now, too.

    • Tony Duncan says:

      Steve,
      read the article more carefully.
      “law enforcement officials often need days or weeks to process DNA samples at crime scenes through CENTRALIZED PUBLIC LABORATORIES.” I am guessing that the military might be able to cut the red tape for, what some might consider, a priority case, don’t you think?

      Also the article is dated August 2010, and it says “near future”. The device was already working, and again, I am guessing the military, even with their tiny budget, could talk someone into a decent loaner.

      As for my saying something intelligent. I prefer to say things that are fun and at the same time congruent with your level of discourse.

    • James says:

      Shouldn’t we be allowing a significant amount of time to get the DNA sample from the compound in Pakistan to a lab with the equipment able to do that high speed testing? Where’s the closest one and how long does it take to get there? Are we supposed to believe a lab and the qualified people to use it was flown in on the helicopters with the guys who did the shooting?

  3. truthsword says:

    Maybe Obama watches too much NCIS and CSI….

  4. Mike Davis says:

    It is now so fast and easy they do routine DNA testing as standard practice during traffic stops. It is common equipment available in your favorite electronics store!

  5. Mike Davis says:

    The equipment is similar to the CO2 oven and perpetual motion devices. Just introduce the proper concentration of CO2 and your future energy needs are taken care of. That is the whole reason behind regulating CO2.

  6. Phil. says:

    stevengoddard says:
    May 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm
    Can you provide some links and a description of the process? How would this differ from a medical DNA sequencing?

    The process is first to take a sample of cells, the easiest for DNA typing is to swab the inside of the cheek. That sample is then treated to extract the DNA, I use a commercial ‘Quick-Extract DNA solution’ and alternately boil and vortex the sample, takes about half an hour, tops. I then make up the PCR mix and run the PCR using the PowerPlex16 mix which simultaneously coamplifies 16 STRs (the FBI 13, amelogenin (sex determination) and Penta D & E)), that takes about 2 hours. The next step sorts the PCR product by size using capillary electrophoresis, typically use a dedicated Genetic Analyser such as Applied Biosystems 3130, doesn’t take too long I usually run batches of ~20 at a time.
    http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/forensics.shtml

    The technology is basically the same as used for medical sequencing except you’d probably use a dedicated program for a machine that was always running CODIS samples. If I sequence DNA now it’s not done in house but shipped out, the lab (Genewiz) does a pick up everyday and can turn round the data in 7hrs (the results are available online).

  7. Nate says:

    From experience:
    Isolation of DNA from Blood: 1hr
    PCR: 30min-1hr (capillary PCR machine, NOT heat block)
    Sequencing: 1-3hr (capillary, Sequenom, Affymetrix, Illumina)
    Analysis: 30 mins.

    Sequencing DNA has come a long ways in the last few years. CSI labs take forever for many reasons; could be sample numbers, using ‘old style’ equipment and techniques, etc.

    I out source my sequencing now, because I can get it back in 10hrs (o/n). The company loads the samples before going home (~7pm), then reads them around (~6am the next day). Everything is automated with sequencer to analysis. Our internal sequencing core uses the block PCR cyclers (2-3hrs) and can only load 96 samples on the sequencer.

    There is a nice piece of equipment that the DoD funded 10yrs ago called the TIGER biosensor (ISIS pharma) (side note: interviewed for that division) that can identify organism from a pool of thousands within 24hrs. It was sanctioned due to the anthrax scare.

  8. Peter Ellis says:

    Fact 1: DNA fingerprinting does not require sequencing.
    Fact 2: DNA sequencing has never involved electron microscopy.

    • I love it when you come in with your authoritative statements – while having no clue what you are talking about.

      • Peter Ellis says:

        DNA fingerprinting is done by checking the size of highly variable regions of DNA known as short tandem repeats (STR). It takes a few hours as other have posted above, about 30 minutes to isolate DNA, 1-3 hours for a PCR reaction and another ~1 hour to size the fragments by electrophoresis. It does not require sequencing.

        I am utterly unclear how you could have gotten the idea that electron microscopes would be useful. No DNA sequencing technology has ever used them. Wikipedia has a good run-down of the range of technologies available (none of which are relevant to DNA fingerprinting for identification purposes, but other readers of this blog may be interested)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dna_sequencing

        And yes, my day job *is* as a molecular biologist.

      • Peter Ellis says:

        Quick Google shows a commercial company that will do paternity testing with a 24 hour turnaround. A paternity test is substantially more work since they have to test both the child and the father, and have much less DNA to work with – you’d have to use a cheek swab or similar, while the people analysing Osama’s body had effectively an unlimited sample. Moreover you can have everything set up and ready to go, while the paternity testing outfit is dealing with a constant stream of samples.

        Bottom line: a DNA profile within a few hours is not only plausible, it’s commercially available for 79 bucks.

        • Well, Peter. Perhaps it depends on how thorough the testing is and how many markers you want to match. You might want to actually learn something about the subject before commenting.

  9. Stop Global Dumbimg Now says:

    It’s possible. I’ve done it within 9 hours. But here in the laboratory with all the samples, reagents, equipment, and computers right here in the same room and the familial results previously completed and analyzed. Gee, those seals are trained gene jockeys too!

  10. Lokis says:

    it must be possible today as even on 911 – the authorities had positive ID on all the highjackers – even w/o having any samples to compare to or bodies usual forensics requires – this is very hush hush high tech stuff the military/intel keep for events like this.

  11. Elliott Wolf says:

    You can test DNA all you like, but it’s not going to confirm an identify unless you have something to test it against. So, when did the U.S. get a sample of Osama bin Laden’s DNA to test against for identification? Back in the ’80s, when he was a CIA asset? But we weren’t doing DNA testing then.

    And this 24 hours – isn’t that for the process? They’re out in the middle of Pakistan with a piece of the corpse to test, where is the DNA analysis lab? Would you trust the ones in Pakistan? Wouldn’t you fly it to Hawaii, where the DoD does these analyses?

    Whoever is telling this story is a second-rate story teller. Karl Rove must be tearing his remaining hair.

    • It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

      I read they compared it to his relatives.

    • che says:

      CERTAINLY in Hawaii’s lab where the infamous Obama long cert that surprisingly missing the Negro where it supposed to in that era. With so many flip flop like a fiery battle now the new version became a single gunman, and many more. So it’s not possible something fishy somewhere not to mention that Osama has been reported dead many many year before.

  12. Mike says:

    I dunno, but I’m figuring that since they had his sister’s samples (his sister and Osama got at least their X’s from their mom, by rule), they probably had custom microarray chips made for the bin Laden snps, mtdna, and point mutations (as well as a host of other markers) and had several sets at different points (afghanistan, ships, with personnel involved in the lynching) for rapid testing. DNA? Possibly the test used labelled mrna instead.

    I’d say this might seem “far-fetched,” but plenty of undergrad programs use the same techs in lab classes

  13. theindian says:

    If such a device or machine or robot does actually exists shouldn’t US be already using it to solve criminal cases within US. It not any military weapon or such that it cannot be used other than by the military. If there is any truth to what US claims is, there wont be this many contradictions. Who knows what the US govt is cooking behind this cover but looking at the past records it surely wont be good.

    People who want to call it conspiracy theorists or whatever are not important as they have already accepted the official report that the US wants people to believe in. But here in this case the conspiracy theories seems to be providing better answers compared to that of the official version that it was an inside job.

  14. Mike says:

    …and enough “lights” would make all kinds of further analysis redundant, especially when you want to tell the media ASAP.

    But I’ll wait for proof, instead of the “official (cia and offal, mostly) story”

    Responsible people would have done the whole thing differently.

  15. imp says:

    Phil, you may be right about DNA identification, but for the rest of my life I don’t think I will ever again hear the words ‘burial at sea’ without raising an eyebrow.

  16. u.k.(us) says:

    OK, it was just a movie.
    “SPARTAN”, by David Mamet.

    Wish I could find a clip of the scene, but no luck.

    Excerpt from the script:

    – Laura Newton’s alive.
    – I don’t know if Laura Newton’s alive.

    I know they lied.
    How do you fake the DNA?

    You don’t fake the DNA.
    You issue a press release.
    ==============
    Not that I believe they did.
    I think there is a lot of truth in the statement:
    “those that are talking don’t know,
    those that know aren’t talking”

  17. biblar says:

    Regardless…none of this negates that he may have been on ice since 2001 and wheeled out at this very opportune moment…DNA and all.

    Someone wise once said…if it doesn’t make sense it isn’t true…the whole thing has given me a feeling of watching a very badly acted play; also the feeling that the same basic plot structure is being used over and over again.

    Subliminal signals and familiarity are important regarding the Bin laden/Obama plot because our subconscious works on pattern recognition. If a person, or people have plenty of appropriate memories to scan, their judgment is likely to be sound.

    It feels like successive US Administrations have been ‘performing’ dramas using the same plot and often the same ‘lines’ for quite some time now.

  18. Jeff says:

    I was wondering whether Phil is an acronym for “Possible Hate Induced Lies”

  19. Brooke H. says:

    I am just amazed that all these DNA experts not only know about this blog, but came to share their wealth of information. Wow. Isn’t that just amazing?

  20. Mike Davis says:

    If DNA testing is so easy and fast then fingerprinting became obsolete because DNA is more reliable. Why was I fingerprinted for my CC permit? Why do they not do DNA testing while booking? A DNA sample is easier to get than a set of fingerprints then a person could be swabbed during routine traffic stops.

    • Daniel Packman says:

      DNA testing itself might be better, but we have an extensive record of fingerprints without corresponding DNA so for some time fingerprints will be essential. Also, in some crime scenes fingerprints might be available but DNA won’t. They can be considered complementary tools.

  21. Phil. says:

    stevengoddard says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm
    Well, Peter. Perhaps it depends on how thorough the testing is and how many markers you want to match. You might want to actually learn something about the subject before commenting.

    Usually use a system like the one I described above for paternity testing, uses the pentanucleotides, Pent E & D in addition to the 13 FBI markers.

    Elliott Wolf says:
    May 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm
    You can test DNA all you like, but it’s not going to confirm an identify unless you have something to test it against. So, when did the U.S. get a sample of Osama bin Laden’s DNA to test against for identification? Back in the ’80s, when he was a CIA asset? But we weren’t doing DNA testing then.

    He has plenty of relatives, his sister died in Boston in 2005, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it was her sample that was used.

    And this 24 hours – isn’t that for the process? They’re out in the middle of Pakistan with a piece of the corpse to test, where is the DNA analysis lab? Would you trust the ones in Pakistan? Wouldn’t you fly it to Hawaii, where the DoD does these analyses?

    As I said above it would be easy to set up the necessary equipment in a lab on the carrier, it would all fit on a coffee table. It’s my understanding that it was done at Bagram airbase though. They’ll also have brought back additional samples.

    theindian says:
    May 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm
    If such a device or machine or robot does actually exists shouldn’t US be already using it to solve criminal cases within US.

    They do.
    “CODIS—NDIS Statistics

    Measuring Success
    The National DNA Index (NDIS) contains over 9,535,059 offender profiles and 366,762 forensic profiles as of March 2011. Ultimately, the success of the CODIS program will be measured by the crimes it helps to solve. CODIS’s primary metric, the “Investigation Aided,” tracks the number of criminal investigations where CODIS has added value to the investigative process. As of March 2011, CODIS has produced over 141,000 hits assisting in more than 135,500 investigations.”

    Mike Davis says:
    May 6, 2011 at 12:01 am
    If DNA testing is so easy and fast then fingerprinting became obsolete because DNA is more reliable. Why was I fingerprinted for my CC permit? Why do they not do DNA testing while booking?

    Depends on state laws, samples are currently collected in almost all states for convicted felons and the result recorded in CODIS.

  22. Andrew Murphy says:

    I can just picture how it all went down.
    Obama: It’s a go, bring me Osama’s head on a plate. Oh and guys make sure we have all the necessary techie stuff on board so that we can have a positive DNA result within 24 hours, otherwise the world will blow up.
    Some official: Will do!

  23. 00NE says:

    It appears steven G just got “owned”.

  24. gepay says:

    Now if the US had let someone, say Hamid Gul exhead of the ISI, but now a critic of the US, be given a chance to take a sample from the body and he had it tested at some reputable laboratory and he said the results were that it was Osama, then I would believe the raid killed Osama. Instead it was thrown in the ocean. Just like we have to believe that KSM was the organizing mastermind of 911 because the an intelligence agent of the US government told the 911 commission that other intelligence agents interrogating KSM (read as said while being tortured for several years in some US secret prison somewhere in the world culminating in a confession that he signed without reading) said he did under Osama – this is hearsay of hearsay. Osama was never convicted of breaking any US law. The FBI even says they don’t have enough evidence to indict Osama for 9/11. He was wanted for the 1998 embassy bombings.
    They say that surviving members of his family were left behind at the compound and are now in the custody of Pakistani authorities. It is interesting to me that these people are more credible than stories from my own government – were there WMD in Iraq? – say they saw the seals kill Osama. It would be ok with me to propagate this story of killing Osama if ‘they’ use it as a cover to leave Afghanistan. I am not holding my breath. We will find out shortly why this story – our wonderful killer Seal team – able to kill unarmed men and women in foreign countries – and then successfully getting on helicopters and flying away – happened at this time.

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