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Robust STR Calling From High-Throughput Sequencing Technologies

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2017
12 pages
This is the Draft Summary Report of the findings and methodology of a research project with the goal of developing a range of cutting-edge algorithms, software, and datasets for forensic DNA technologies that use high throughput sequencing.
The first set of studies focused on developing a robust algorithm to profile short tandem repeats from high throughput sequencing data. The second set of studies sought to discover more STRs that could assist DNA forensics. The third set of studies developed a rapid and portable methodology that will enable the identification of DNA by using handheld high throughput DNA sequencers directly at crime scenes or an area of a mass disaster. The strategy used demonstrates the possibility of using the MinlON in combination with other off-the-shelf equipment to build an inexpensive system for low latency DNA fingerprinting. Near-real-time DNA surveillance can be used for the identification of victims after a mass disaster or for border control to counter human trafficking. Although forensic databases only hold STR profiles of individuals that are not compatible with MinlON sketches, the continuous decrease in costs for sequencing and genotyping arrays facilitates developing compatible databases. A more complicated aspect is the legality of constructing genome-wide genotyping databases by compulsory DNA collection from arrestees; however, the U.S. legal framework emphasizes restrictions on the purpose of compulsory DNA collection rather than the extent of genotyping. The algorithm was published as an open source to facilitate adoption by the community. 5 figures

Date Published: February 1, 2017