by Dale Chappell
Makers of the ground-breaking DNA analyzing program STRmix have announced an addition to that program that will allow more robust DNA searches and analysis in criminal cases.
It’s called DBLR (database likelihood ratios), and it’s used in conjunction with STRmix to calculate millions of DNA comparisons in just seconds. The new version of DBLR has a Common Donor function that “allows users to combine multiple evidence profiles in a single calculation,” DBLR developer Maarten Kruijver said. This enables users to better resolve the identification of the DNA donor who appears in multiple samples and find possible matches.
A likelihood ratio is used to assess the strength of DNA evidence and how likely it is that DNA from a criminal scene belongs to a person. DBLR lets the STRmix program rapidly calculate these likelihood ratios.
STRmix made headlines recently for being able to take DNA samples muddied with multiple donors and separate them. This allows forensic experts to identify the various people involved to narrow down a suspect. Before STRmix, this was nearly impossible to do.
STRmix was a game-changer in the criminal justice system. Sure, it helped law enforcement to identify suspects it couldn’t before, but it also allowed those who were wrongfully convicted based on mixed DNA evidence to be exonerated. It has been used to interpret DNA evidence in more than 220,000 cases worldwide, including numerous U.S. court cases and more than 80 successful admissibility hearings.
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