The analysis of biological traces to identify the donor of the trace has a long tradition dating back to the use of blood groups in the forensic investigation by Landsteiner and Richter in 1903. Only since the introduction of methods of DNA analysis in the biological examination of traces by Sir Alec Jeffreys in 1985 has it become possible to identify a biological trace with a very high degree of probability. As a result of this, DNA analysis is currently standard practice for identifying biological traces or establishing a biological relationship between people.
The laboratory of forensic genetics and molecular archaeology activities provides the services and the scientific investigation at the forensic medicine centre for the following areas:
- Examination of pieces of evidence and biological traces
- Genetics of human populations
- Molecular archaeology and historical investigation
These forensic services – genetic identification and determination of relationship – have been accredited by BELAC (successor of BELTEST, August 2006) in accordance with international standard ISO 17025 since March 2003. On 28 May 2004 the laboratory was officially recognised by the Belgian Minister of Justice to carry out DNA analyses in criminal cases.