Three More U.S. Labs Now Using STRmix™

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Three more US labs are now using STRmix, a sophisticated forensic software that significantly improves the ability of forensic analysts to contribute to criminal investigations in which DNA evidence was previously too complex to interpret. That brings the number of US labs using STRmix to 17, with another 55 US labs at various stages of installation, validation, and training.

Three more U.S. labs are now using STRmix,™ a sophisticated forensic software used by trained, experienced DNA experts to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously thought unresolvable.

The addition of the three new labs – the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Wyoming State Crime Laboratory, and the Tri County Regional Forensic Laboratory – brings the total number of U.S. labs now using STRmix™ to 17. Another 55 labs in the U.S. are at various stages of installation, validation, and training.

STRmix™ is also being used by numerous local, state, and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL), and the California Department of Justice, according to Bjorn Sutherland, Forensic Development Manager at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR). ESR scientists John Buckleton and Jo-Anne Bright, in collaboration with Duncan Taylor from Forensic Science South Australia (FSSA), developed STRmix™.

“U.S. labs and law enforcement agencies have had tremendous interest in STRmix™ because it significantly improves the ability of forensic analysts to contribute to criminal investigations in which DNA evidence was previously considered too complex to interpret,” Sutherland explains.

Using standard, well-established statistical methods, STRmix™ builds up a picture of the DNA genotypes that, when added together, best explains the observed mixed DNA profile. STRmix™ then enables users to compare the results against a person or persons of interest and calculate a statistic, or “likelihood ratio,” of the strength of the match.

To date, there have been at least five successful admissibility hearings for STRmix™ in the U.S., while DNA evidence interpreted with STRmix™ has been successfully used in more than 65 other court cases.

Internationally, STRmix™ has been used in casework since 2012, and has been used to interpret DNA evidence in thousands of cases. It is currently in use in labs in Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada.

For more information about STRmix™ visit http://www.esr.cri.nz/ or http://strmix.esr.cri.nz/.

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