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Forensic Science International. Genetics

Nicole Huber, Walther Parson, Arne Dür
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation is being reported relative to the corrected version of the first sequenced human mitochondrial genome. A review of the existing literature across disciplines that employ mtDNA demonstrates that insertions and deletions are not reported in a standardized way. This may lead to false exclusions of identical sequences, unidentified matches in missing persons mtDNA databases, biased mtDNA database frequency estimates and overestimation of the genetic evidence. Seven years ago we introduced alignment-free database search software (SAM) and implemented it into the mtDNA database EMPOP (https://empop...
September 9, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Anastasia Aliferi, David Ballard, Matteo D Gallidabino, Helen Thurtle, Leon Barron, Denise Syndercombe Court
The field of DNA intelligence focuses on retrieving information from DNA evidence that can help narrow down large groups of suspects or define target groups of interest. With recent breakthroughs on the estimation of geographical ancestry and physical appearance, the estimation of chronological age comes to complete this circle of information. Recent studies have identified methylation sites in the human genome that correlate strongly with age and can be used for the development of age-estimation algorithms...
September 8, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Frederike C A Quaak, Yvonne van de Wal, Petra A Maaskant-van Wijk, Irene Kuiper
In forensic case investigations involving human traces, cell type identification has become increasingly important. No longer only the donor of a trace (sub-source level), but also the actions which could have led to the deposition of the trace ('beyond-the-source'/activity level) need to be evaluated by forensic experts. For this evaluation determining the cellular source of a DNA profile can be beneficial. In this report two criminal cases are described where both human STR profiling and microbial population profiling were applied to the same trace sample...
August 31, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Amke Caliebe, Michael Krawczak
Calculating match probabilities for genetic profiles under the hypothesis that a person of interest (henceforth the 'suspect') is not the donor of a particular forensic trace is challenging because the reference population is usually not clear-defined in such cases. Hence, the concept of 'suspect population' was introduced to allow for the fact that possible alternative trace donors often resemble the suspect in terms of their geographic, ethnic and social affiliation. In fact, they may even be genetically related to the suspect...
August 30, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
J Watherston, D McNevin, M E Gahan, D Bruce, J Ward
DNA profiling has emerged as the gold standard for the identification of victims in mass disaster events providing an ability to identify victims, reassociate remains and provide investigative leads at a relatively low cost, and with a high degree of discrimination. For the majority of samples, DNA-based identification can be achieved in a fast, streamlined and high-throughput manner. However, a large number of remains will be extremely compromised, characteristic of mass disasters. Advances in technology and in the field of forensic biology have increased the options for the collection, sampling, preservation and processing of samples for DNA profiling...
August 28, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Xiang Sheng, Yun Bao, Ruiyang Tao, Jiashuo Zhang, Jingyi Zhang, Zihao Yang, Chengtao Li, Suhua Zhang
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 27, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
John S Buckleton, Jo-Anne Bright, Kevin Cheng, Bruce Budowle, Michael D Coble
MIX13 was an interlaboratory exercise directed by NIST in 2013. The goal of the exercise was to evaluate the general state of interpretation methods in use at the time across the forensic community within the US and Canada and to measure the consistency in mixture interpretation. The findings were that there was a large variation in analysts' interpretations between and within laboratories. Within this work, we sought to evaluate the same mock mixture cases analyzed in MIX13 but with a more current view of the state-of-the-science...
August 27, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Nicole M M Novroski, August E Woerner, Bruce Budowle
Due to their polymorphic nature, short tandem repeats (STRs) are well-studied and routinely used genetic markers for forensic DNA typing. However, even the largest STR multiplexes are limited in their ability to parse out individuals in a DNA mixture sample, due to alleles shared by size detected by capillary electrophoresis and challenges in resolving minor alleles from stutter, and inherent heterozygote imbalance. In this study, STRs were explored in public datasets that displayed sequence variation and may have limited allele length spread...
August 23, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Stephen Blackman, Beccy Stafford-Allen, Erin K Hanson, Monika Panasiuk, Amber-Louise Brooker, Paul Rendell, Jack Ballantyne, Simon Wells
Identifying the biological origin of forensic traces can provide crucial evidence to aid criminal investigations. Current forensic practice for the identification of body fluids mostly uses protein-based presumptive tests. Such tests cannot identify all of the forensically relevant fluids and have issues of cross-reactivity. More recently, messenger RNA methods have been developed that have expanded the range of body fluids that can be positively identified. However, these methods are slow and require expert scientists to run the processes and interpret the results...
August 23, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Shuntaro Fujimoto, Sho Manabe, Chie Morimoto, Munetaka Ozeki, Yuya Hamano, Keiji Tamaki
MicroRNA (miRNA) -based body fluid identification (BFID) plays a prominent role in a forensic practice, and the selected reference RNA is indispensable for a robust normalization in BFID performed using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR. In this study, we first examined sample quality using RNA integrity number, then evaluated the consistency of expression of candidate reference RNAs in 4 forensically relevant body fluids using NormFinder and BestKeeper, and lastly used each rank and index output from these tools for selecting the optimal reference RNA and the combination of the multiple RNAs using the RankAggreg package of R...
August 18, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Athina Vidaki, Manfred Kayser
Forensic epigenetics, i.e., investigating epigenetics variation to resolve forensically relevant questions unanswerable with standard forensic DNA profiling has been gaining substantial ground over the last few years. Differential DNA methylation among tissues and individuals has been proposed as useful resource for three forensic applications i) determining the tissue type of a human biological trace, ii) estimating the age of an unknown trace donor, and iii) differentiating between monozygotic twins. Thus far, forensic epigenetic investigations have used a wide range of methods for CpG marker discovery, prediction modelling and targeted DNA methylation analysis, all coming with advantages and disadvantages when it comes to forensic trace analysis...
August 17, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Zheng Li, Jianping Xu, Peng Chen, Caiyong Yin, Li Hu, Huijie Huang, Rong Li, Dongtao Jia, Feng Chen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 16, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Burkhard Berger, Cordula Berger, Josephin Heinrich, Harald Niederstätter, Werner Hecht, Andreas Hellmann, Udo Rohleder, Uwe Schleenbecker, Nadja Morf, Ana Freire-Aradas, Dennis McNevin, Christopher Phillips, Walther Parson
We tested a panel of 13 highly polymorphic canine short tandem repeat (STR) markers for dog breed assignment using 392 dog samples from the 23 most popular breeds in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. This STR panel had originally been selected for canine identification. The dog breeds sampled in this study featured a population frequency ≥1% and accounted for nearly 57% of the entire pedigree dog population in these three countries. Breed selection was based on a survey comprising records for nearly 1.9 million purebred dogs belonging to more than 500 different breeds...
August 16, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Julyana Ribeiro, Magdalena Romero, Filipa Simão, Ana Paula Ferreira Almeida, Alfredo Quiroz, Patricia Machado, Vanessa Velázquez, Elizeu Fagundes de Carvalho, Carlos Vullo, Leonor Gusmão
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 15, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Jana Naue, Hwan Young Lee
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 9, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Piyamas Kanokwongnuwut, K Paul Kirkbride, Adrian Linacre
Touch DNA is one of the most common sample types submitted for DNA profiling. There is currently no process to visualise the presence of such DNA deposited when a person makes direct contact with items of forensic relevance. This report demonstrates the effective use of Diamond Dye to bind to DNA and allow visualisation of deposited cellular material using a mini-fluorescence microscope. Volunteers made contact with a range of items typical of those submitted as part of a forensic investigation. Contact was for less than 5 s and occurred either 15 min after hands were washed to remove any traces of DNA, and therefore under controlled conditions, or at an undefined time post handwashing to mimic real-world scenarios...
August 8, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
E Alladio, M Omedei, S Cisana, G D'Amico, D Caneparo, M Vincenti, P Garofano
The present study investigated the capabilities and performances of semi-continuous and fully-continuous probabilistic approaches to DNA mixtures interpretation, particularly when dealing with Low-Template DNA mixtures. Five statistical interpretation software, such as Lab Retriever and LRmix Studio - involving semi-continuous algorithms - and DNA•VIEW® , EuroForMix and STRmixTM - employing fully-continuous formulae - were employed to calculate likelihood ratio, comparing the prosecution and the defense hypotheses relative to a series of on-purpose prepared DNA mixtures that respectively contained 2 and 3 known contributors...
August 3, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
António Amorim, Nadia Pinto
The potential and difficulties of the application of genome wide data in forensics are analyzed. We argue that, besides statistical, computational, ethical, economic and technical validation problems, the state of the art of population genetics theory is insufficient to deal with the forensic use of this type of data. In order to keep the current standards of quantifying and reporting genetic evidence, namely in kinship analyses and identification, substantial improvement in the theoretical framework should be reached, since to obtain genome-wide results is to provide the experts with data that they cannot quantify the corresponding evidentiary value...
August 2, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
John M Butler, Margaret C Kline, Michael D Coble
Interlaboratory studies are a type of collaborative exercise in which many laboratories are presented with the same set of data to interpret, and the results they produce are examined to get a "big picture" view of the effectiveness and accuracy of analytical protocols used across participating laboratories. In 2005 and again in 2013, the Applied Genetics Group of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted interlaboratory studies involving DNA mixture interpretation. In the 2005 NIST MIX05 study, 69 laboratories interpreted data in the form of electropherograms of two-person DNA mixtures representing four different mock sexual assault cases with different contributor ratios...
August 1, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Jian Zhang, Xiaoting Mo, Yiwen Zhang, Guangshu Ding, Xi Wang, Wanshui Li, Xingchun Zhao, Jian Ye
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 31, 2018: Forensic Science International. Genetics
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