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Forensic Serology1 Laboratory Instructions

At the 11th Annual CSI Challenge, you will encounter evidence that requires skills and knowledge from the field of Forensic Serology to properly analyze and interpret a specific clue or clues. The purpose of these instructions is to assist you in typing blood as part of your investigation.

Background
Serology is the scientific study of blood serum and other bodily fluids, such as saliva. In forensic contexts, serological tests are generally used to link a perpetrator to a piece of evidence (e.g., blood to a suspect). Blood typing is relatively straight forward. There are four types of blood groups: A, B, AB, and O. These types are differentiated by the presence or absence of specific antigens (agglutinins) on the surface of red blood cells. These antigens are designated as A and B. There is also another group of antigens on the surface of red blood cells called Rh factors, which are designated as either positive + or negative -. There is a simple test to determine blood type that uses anti-sera containing high levels of anti-A, anti-B, and anti-Rh agglutinins. Just add several drops of each anti-serum to separate samples of blood and observe if agglutination (clumping) occurs. For example, if agglutination only occurs in the sample with anti-A serum, then the blood type is A-. See Table 1, below. Whenever blood is shed in a criminal act, the typing of the blood stains are of primary importance to the crime scene investigator. The ABO blood groups are generally used to screen out possible suspects involved in the crime. However, a positive match of the suspects blood type is alone not sufficient to convict someone of a crime.

Laboratory Stations
On competition day, each team will process the crime scene blood at their Crime Scene Laboratory Station. Each team will be supplied with the following items to process and analyze crime scene blood: 1 Plastic Blood Tray 1 Pipet Vial of Anti-A Serum Vial of Anti-B Serum Vial of Anti-Rh Serum 3 Plastic Toothpicks Sample of Crime Scene Blood (from your crime scene) Laboratory Standards Data (located in the Serology Exemplar Portfolio)

1 Worksheet

Supplies To Bring
Here are a few tips to make your investigation more effective and efficient: A Copy of the Forensic Serology Tutorial Protective gloves Pad and pencil

Step 1: Determine Blood Type


Goal
The first step in your analysis is to determine the type of the blood recovered from your crime scene.

Lab
Follow these steps to type blood: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Put on protective gloves. Using the pipet, place 3-4 drops of blood sample in well A of the blood tray. Place 3-4 drops of blood sample in well B. Place 3-4 drops of blood sample in well Rh. Next, place 3-4 drops of Anti-A Serum in well A. Then, place 3-4 drops of Anti-B Serum in well B. Finally, place 3-4 drops of Anti-Rh Serum in well Rh.. SOFTLY stir each blood sample with a separate toothpick for 30 seconds. Hold the tray steady to avoid splattering and contaminating samples. 9. Determine if the sample in each well agglutinates. To confirm agglutination, place the tray on a piece of paper with typed text. If you cannot read the text, or can only make out some of the text, assume you have a positive agglutination reaction. 10. Use Table 1 of the worksheet to determine blood type.

Step 2: Determine Victim Identity


Goal
The second step in your analysis is to determine the identity of the victim associated with the crime scene blood.

Method
Your team will need to analyze and synthesize the data you created as well as any other relative data to complete the investigation.

Lab
Follow these steps to complete your ink chromatography investigation: 11. Compare your blood type results to the blood type records of other possible victims or suspects. These records are located in your Serology Exemplar Portfolio. 12. Determine the best exemplar match to your records. 13. Record the name of the victim or suspect that best matches your blood records on the worksheet. Keep this worksheet, you will need this information for your final examination.

_________________________ 1. Adapted from Wards Natural Science Establishment. Simulated Bloodtyping Whodunit? Lab Activity 36-0021.