The New York City medical examiner’s office, which handles forensic investigation of crime scenes, announced yesterday it had failed to send critical DNA samples from crime scenes to a state database. The office’s deputy director of quality assurance has been fired, and the forensic biology director has been suspended over the incident. Sending DNA samples to the state allows for cross-checking against a database of past felons.

Ellen Brokavore, a spokeswoman for the office, was repentant, but maintained that the error was relatively minor (only one of the mishandled samples eventually turned up a lead).”While 55 represents a minuscule percentage of the overall total of 25,000 profiles entered since 2000 (when the system was implemented),” she wrote in a statement, “All profiles must be uploaded and the failure is not acceptable for a world-class DNA lab that prides itself on accuracy and attention to detail.”

(Image: widdowquinn/Flickr)