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Justice through genomics

Othram enables human identification from difficult evidence such as touch DNA, rootless hair, and decades-old bones.

Othram achieves results even when other approaches fail.

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We decipher genetic identities so you can solve cases.

Othram is the first private laboratory built to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Our scientists are experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace amounts of degraded or contaminated materials. We help investigators break through previously impenetrable forensic DNA barriers and close previously unsolvable cases.

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Purpose-Built for Forensics

Othram features essential infrastructure and process for testing forensic DNA evidence, including upfront DNA profile feasibility assessment, to avoid unnecessary evidence consumption, automatic human enrichment, and separate unidirectional workflows.

Optimized for Identification

Othram digitizes many types of genetic variation, powering proprietary kinship analysis, mixture deconvolution, and genealogy. These methods, in combination with the DNASolves™ database and other resources, enable human ID from forensic evidence.

Secure and Accountable

Othram uniquely offers in-house processing of evidence, from DNA extraction and enrichment, to sequencing and genealogy. Our lab supports chain of custody and is staffed by seasoned forensic DNA analysts with experience testifying in court.

Recent casework

Carla Walker was just 17 when she was abducted from a Fort Worth parking lot and murdered in February of 1974. This brutal crime remained unsolved for nearly a half-century, with all available leads exhausted, including conventional forensic DNA testing.

In April 2020, Carla’s story was featured on Oxygen’s “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes.” Within weeks, Othram’s advanced DNA analysis paired with exceptional investigative work from the detectives led to the identification of a suspect.

The search for answers began in 1994 when a fisherman discovered a body in the lake. It’s likely that the Lake Stickney John Doe had been in the lake for as many as seven years before being discovered.

Despite having less than 0.2 nanograms (less than 20 cell’s worth) of badly degraded and heavily contaminated human DNA to work with, Othram’s scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and a combination of proprietary enrichment methods and sequencing protocols to reconstruct a genealogical profile.

The remains, found in 1979 in an agricultural field near Charleston, Missouri, had been burned prior to discovery. No identity could be established at that time and the remains were eventually turned over to Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO).

Dr. Bengtson and her team at SEMO sent a small sample of the remains to Othram in early 2020 in the hopes of solving this case while providing her students a valuable learning platform.

“If you can solve a 100-year-old homicide, there’s a lot of hope for being able to solve a 100-day-old homicide,” said Othram CEO David Mittelman.

Each success helps the forensic team iterate and improve their ability to access genetic information from the toughest samples. Othram extracted useable DNA from a 40-year old disintegrated bloody gauze to help identify a murder victim previously only known as the "Lime Lady".

Two sets of remains from the historic 1700s site will undergo genome sequencing and forensic genealogical analysis — an effort to learn more about the lives led by these individuals, with a remote possibility of finding living descendants today.

The City Council this week authorized the expenditure of up to $10,450 from the African Burying Ground Trust to conduct the DNA sequencing project, which is already underway in partnership with Othram.

In August of 1979, one family hunting for arrowheads in the caves, instead turned up a headless, burlap wrapped male torso. The remains, which became known as the Buffalo Cave Torso, were examined by the FBI’s elite forensic team with no resulting identification, and also examined at the Smithsonian, again without an identification being made.

Othram’s laboratory digitized the degraded remains from this case using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®.

Let's solve your case

Forensic evidence will degrade over time. Don't lose your evidence or allow it to be consumed by inadequate testing. We work with forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches failed. Reach out to learn how we can help you with your case.

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