Sarah E. Schmedes

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Technological advances in DNA recovery and sequencing have drastically expanded the scope of genetic analyses of ancient specimens to the extent that full genomic investigations are now feasible and are quickly becoming standard. This trend has important implications for infectious disease research because genomic data from ancient microbes may help to(More)
Although investigations of medieval plague victims have identified Yersinia pestis as the putative etiologic agent of the pandemic, methodological limitations have prevented large-scale genomic investigations to evaluate changes in the pathogen's virulence over time. We screened over 100 skeletal remains from Black Death victims of the East Smithfield mass(More)
While capillary electrophoresis-based technologies have been the mainstay for human identity typing applications, there are limitations with this methodology's resolution, scalability, and throughput. Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) offers the capability to multiplex multiple types of forensically-relevant markers and multiple samples together in one(More)
Various types of biological samples present challenges for extraction of DNA suitable for subsequent molecular analyses. Commonly used extraction methods, such as silica membrane columns and phenol–chloroform, while highly successful may still fail to provide a sufficiently pure DNA extract with some samples. Synchronous coefficient of drag alteration(More)
DNA recovery, purity and overall extraction efficiency of a protocol employing a novel silica-based column, Hi-Flow(®) (Generon Ltd., Maidenhead, UK), were compared with that of a standard organic DNA extraction methodology. The quantities of DNA recovered by each method were compared by real-time PCR and quality of DNA by STR typing using the PowerPlex(®)(More)
High throughput sequencing (HTS) generates large amounts of high quality sequence data for microbial genomics. The value of HTS for microbial forensics is the speed at which evidence can be collected and the power to characterize microbial-related evidence to solve biocrimes and bioterrorist events. As HTS technologies continue to improve, they provide(More)
Whole-genome data are invaluable for large-scale comparative genomic studies. Current sequencing technologies have made it feasible to sequence entire bacterial genomes with relative ease and time with a substantially reduced cost per nucleotide, hence cost per genome. More than 3,000 bacterial genomes have been sequenced and are available at the finished(More)
Single source and multiple donor (mixed) samples of human mitochondrial DNA were analyzed and compared using the MinION and the MiSeq platforms. A generalized variant detection strategy was employed to provide a cursory framework for evaluating the reliability and accuracy of mitochondrial sequences produced by the MinION. The feasibility of long-read(More)
The field of forensic genetics has made great strides in the analysis of biological evidence related to criminal and civil matters. More so, the discipline has set a standard of performance and quality in the forensic sciences. The advent of massively parallel sequencing will allow the field to expand its capabilities substantially. This review describes(More)
The human microbiome contributes significantly to the genetic content of the human body. Genetic and environmental factors help shape the microbiome, and as such, the microbiome can be unique to an individual. Previous studies have demonstrated the potential to use microbiome profiling for forensic applications, however a method has yet to identify stable(More)