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A Guidance Document on the Forensic Application of Massively Parallel Sequencing

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2022

This report explains the fundamentals of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) for the application to forensic analysis and summarizes the webinar series that discussed the strength of this technology and considerations for its implementation.



Massively parallel sequencing, also called next-generation sequencing, is a technology with the potential to expand the capabilities of forensic DNA laboratories; however, several challenges must be addressed in implementing a MPS system in a crime laboratory. These challenges include laboratory methodology and validation, training in the fundamentals of the technologies and chemistries, functionality, genetic marker systems, interpretation guidelines, policy and data procedure development related to Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) operations, and perceived admissibility and privacy issues. The intent of the webinar series hosted by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTYCoE) is to provide a technical resource for forensic DNA scientists regarding the fundamentals of the current platforms and chemistries, the capacity and throughput of genetic marker analysis, bioinformatics and validation requirements,  potential applications, and potential admissibility issues related to  the implementation of an MPS system in a crime laboratory. Overall, this report presents the views of international and national scientists involved in developing and validating MPS, the literature to date, and the experience of individuals fluent in both capillary electrophoresis (CE) and MPS applications. 2 figures and 2 tables


Date Published: April 15, 2022