Tuesday , December 10 2019
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Upgrades on track for Vancouver’s advanced DNA testing lab

“The genius of the Autolys is it can use this tube to make that whole process completely hands off. I put this tube on, and when it’s done running, it basically spits out a tray,” which is manually moved to another piece of equipment, Pyles said. So, most of the tedious, hands-on work of testing kits has been removed from the process, she said.

Once the high-throughput lab is up and running and staff is fully trained, each scientist will be able to complete an average of 14 sexual assault kits per month, which is double the amount they’re expected to complete using current methods, Loftis said.

In 2018, the total number of newly received sexual assault cases was about 2,400 (not including historical cases), and the total number received this year is expected to exceed about 2,600, according to the state patrol.

Siggins noted another factor that will increase the number of processed kits: The robot never sleeps. Scientists get the automation rolling and head home for the day, he said.