Forensic tests may fail if samples contain DNA from multiple people

Experts across the world agree that, while DNA analysis for an individual sample is considered to be the gold standard of forensic science[,]…in the case of DNA mixtures involving more than one person[,] that is far from the case, especially when the sample is small or degraded.

Crime labs have, for years, been able to reliably identify an individual from a DNA sample containing just one person’s genetic material. But mixed samples are much more difficult. Most labs use a statistical approach called Combined Probability of Inclusion. A newer technology, probabilistic genotyping, uses sophisticated computer software to analyze mixed samples.

The poor performance of the labs on mixed samples in the studies was shocking, Mr. Hampikian said…The newer computer modeling technology has great promise…but also has not reached the level of consistency and replicability that exists for single-sample DNA tests.


“There is a misconception that DNA is the holy grail, and it shouldn’t be looked at that way especially in complex mixtures,” said Amy Jeanguenat[,] the CEO of…a forensic consulting firm….

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Complex DNA is still a developing technology, experts say

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