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EMSL DNA Testing Lab Helps Solve Mysteries

Attorneys, Companies and Concerned Citizens turn to EMSL for Expert Laboratory Testing


Cinnaminson, NJ

The DNA Analysis Laboratory at EMSL Analytical, Inc. has undertaken a number of special projects or developed customer-tailored tests to support their investigations. The areas involved include food safety and contaminants in food, environmental safety and exposure concerns; such as identification of rodent droppings, and legal investigations for example Salmonella in peanut butter, blood stain or contamination in food and beverages.

Pieces of dried plant leaves were found in a book carried by a high school student. The plant leaves were suspected to be marijuana. Samples were sent to EMSL and Plant DNA barcode analysis was performed. EMSL determined that the plant leaves were from garden lettuces (Lactuca sativa) not marijuana (Cannabis sativa). The teenager who carried the book was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Rodent droppings can harbor pathogens and transmit them to humans. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate droppings from other materials or dirt. Suspected rodent dropping on a pizza were analyzed at EMSL for rat and mouse specific DNA. EMSL was able to confirm that the dropping were from a rat. On another project, animal droppings were found on the floor of a living room. The homeowner was concerned and did not know what made the droppings. She suspected some small animal invaded her house and left the droppings. DNA analysis showed that the droppings were neither from rat nor from mouse; indicating another small animal intruded in the house.

In recent years, bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) have become a big concern for homeowners and hotel travelers. The increasing activities of bed bugs are related in part to the changes in pesticide usage and global travel. A rapid qPCR method for detecting bed bugs has been developed at EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL is able to find the presence of bed bugs by analyzing samples from bedroom dust, swabs from headboards, around beds, and mattresses; and air samples.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a leading testing laboratory with over 39 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in DNA & forensic testing, consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food and materials testing services to professionals and the general public.


 DNA Testing Lab
 help solve mysteries
 food environment exposure
 rapid qPCR bed bugs
 forensic consumer IAQ

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