- Wells, JD; Linville, JG
- Forensic DNA analysis is an extremely powerful investigative technique that has become, in many ways, the standard by which other forensic sciences are measured. This article reviews the current technology of forensic DNA typing and highlights areas of recent innovation and likely future trends. Although a need to compare new data to previous analyses prevents some potential improvements in genotyping procedures, the field is clearly moving toward greater automation, the utilization of ever smaller and more degraded biological samples, and deciphering the likely physical appearance of the person who left a biological sample. The analysis of nonhuman DNA has also become routine and may be helpful for investigating violent crimes, violations of conservation laws, and fraud.Although forensic DNA procedures have been extensively scrutinized and validated, the field is not free of unavoidable errors, subjective conclusions, or debate concerning proper statistical interpretation of the results. Of particular current concern are stochastic effects manifested when analyzing very small amounts of evidence DNA and samples that represent a mixture of >1 individual. Statistical analysis standards have yet to be established for some mixed samples, as well as mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA.
- January 1, 2013
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