Savannah's New Rapid DNA Machine Takes Minutes Instead Of Weeks

Apr 11, 2019

Savannah State University is testing a new machine that could help law enforcement solve more crimes. It’s the first of its kind in Georgia.

Using the new Rapid DNA machine, investigators will be able to collect a DNA sample from a suspect and analyze it within 90 minutes, instead of weeks. 


Savannah State professor Karla-Sue Marriott, chair of the university's forensics program, said they can then check the DNA against a federal database much sooner. 


"That means that, for one, you can release an innocent person if there's no match," she said. "Or you can prevent the release of a perpetrator that has been in the population." 


Georgia does not have a law allowing police to collect DNA from people they arrest, but federal law does allow it. 


Marriott said Savannah State students will train on the machine using DNA from anonymous donors, and they'll work on experiments to test how reliable and accurate it is.