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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/32448

Title: Identification of missing persons: The Spanish "Phoenix" Program
Authors: Lorente Acosta, José Antonio
Entrala, Carmen
Álvarez Merino, Juan Carlos
Arce, Blanca
Heinrichs, Beatriz
Lorente Acosta, Miguel
Carrasco, Felíx
Budowle, Bruce
Villanueva Cañadas, Enrique
Issue Date: 2001
Abstract: In 1999, Spain was the first country to officially start a National Program to try to identify cadavers and human remains which could not be identified by the use of traditional forensic approaches. This attempt is called “Phoenix Program”. Two independent mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) databases were generated, which can automatically compare and match identical or similar sequences. One is the Reference Database, with mtDNA sequences from maternal relatives of missing persons, who provide the samples (buccal swabs) voluntarily; the other is the Questioned Database, comprised ofmtDNAdata of unknown remains and cadavers. Although the first phase of the program (typing of all unidentified human remains) will probably not be completed until December 2003, positive identifications are being made in the interim. To date, more than 1,200 families have contacted Phoenix, and at least 280 reference samples and 48 questioned evidences have been analyzed. When mtDNA matches are found, another independent analysis is performed as a part of the quality control mechanism. Once a match is confirmed (so far in 6 cases), an attempt is made to analyze short tandem repeat (STR) loci.Wecall for international collaboration to make this effort valuable worldwide.
Sponsorship: We acknowledge the nine Spanish Foundations supporting this program (BBV, Caja Madrid, Endesa, Juan March, Marcelino Botín, Pedro Barrié de la Maza, Ramón Areces, Tabacalera, and Telefónica). Spanish Ministry of Education and Science supports the research on minimal amounts of DNA through the project PM97-0175.
Publisher: Medicinska Naklada
Keywords: DNA
Fluorescent probes
Forensic medicine
Polymerase chain reaction
Restriction fragment length
United States
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/32448
ISSN: 0353-9504
Citation: Lorente, J.A.; et al. Identification of missing persons: The Spanish "Phoenix" Program. Croatian Medical Journal, 42(3): 267-270 (2001). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/32448]
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