DNA Interpretation Software Enhancing Forensic Casework
thesisposted on 20.06.2014, 00:00 by Brittney T. Riordan
Ample declarations have been established in efforts to enhance forensic science. More specifically, a lot of devotion has been exerted on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). With acts such as the DNA Backlog Reduction Program, and the DNA Fingerprinting Act and even the DNA Identification Act – it has become obvious that assistance is continually appraised. Provisions are commonplace for forensic DNA analysis; and these amendments can serve as a platform that contributes a large majority to the DNA backlog. The introduction of robotics and automation into laboratories has shifted the delay from sample preparation to DNA analysis. With mixture interpretation systems becoming more profuse in laboratories, analyst are spending less time at the bench and more time where human intervention is desired – areas that are controversial to automate, such as the DNA interpretation aspect. The purpose of this study was to explore the capabilities of novel DNA interpretation software, namely ArmedXpert™. Allele calls designated between GeneMapper®ID and ArmedXpert™ were compared. It was found that overall the frequency of differences between the software were minimal. Of those differences that did result – it was recognized that validated thresholds for software are not transferable and that a validation study for any new software would be necessary before implementing it into a laboratory. Even so, ArmedExpert™ can assist the analyst in a variety of ways. Calculations including peak-height ratios and random match probabilities are completed in a matter of seconds. The user-friendly interface is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also allows the freedom to view the data as desired; whether that be in relative fluorescence units, base pairs or allele calls. Forensic laboratories that choose to implement their workflow analysis with ArmedXpert™ can greatly increase their time efficacy and potentially aid in the reduction of the ever-growing DNA backlog. As recognized in this study, utilizing what this software has to offer can enhance forensic casework.