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SNP-microarrays Can Accurately Identify the Presence of an Individual in Complex Forensic DNA Mixtures

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2015
8 pages
This study evaluated the practical usefulness of currently available “off-the-shelf” SNP microarrays for identifying the presence of an individual in a mixture of several contributors in DNA samples from a mass disaster.
The study found that a set of 3000 SNPs specifically selected for this purpose can accurately identify the presence of an individual in complex DNA mixtures of various compositions; for example, individuals contributing as little as 5 percent to a complex DNA mixture can be robustly identified even when the starting DNA amount is as little as 5.0 ng and had undergone whole-genome amplification (WGA) prior to SNP analysis. The work presented in this study represents proof-of-principle that the authors previously proposed approach can work with real “forensic-type” samples. Furthermore, in the absence of a low-density focused forensic SNP microarray, the use of standard, currently available high-density SNP microarrays can be similarly used and even increase statistical power due to the larger amount of available information. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: May 1, 2015