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NIJ and CHORI: Collaboration With SoftGenetics and California Department of Justice - Customizing NextGENe Software for Forensic Applications

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2016
2 pages

This paper discusses the features and benefits of a project that modified the NextGENe commercial software developed by SoftGenetics so as to improve the analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers, which are ideal targets for analyzing degraded and mixed DNA samples.


Dr. Cassandra Calloway of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) recognized that NextGENe software offers a user-friendly, versatile program for the analysis of data generated by different massively parallel sequencing (MPS) platforms. Dr. Calloway led the NIJ-funded research effort with SoftGenetics to modify NextGENe software to improve analysis of mtDNA in a forensic context. This project yielded four benefits. First, it drives progress toward incorporation of mtDNA sequence analysis into the criminal justice system. Second, it supports missing person identification, analysis of degraded samples, and forensic profiling. Third, it adapts easily into current workflow in forensic labs with MPS equipment. Fourth, it enables quick, easy analysis of the data in comprehensive reports. The California Department of Justice has successfully used the modified NextGENe software in the identification of individuals in complex mixtures and degraded samples.

Date Published: April 1, 2016