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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Data Interpretation

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Forensic DNA analysts must convert fluorescence data that is either in the form of bands on a gel or peaks on an electropherogram into information that can be shared and communicated with lay persons.

This process requires taking multicolor fluorescent information generated during testing and translating it into genotypes, which is the specific genetic profile of a sample.

An STR profile is simply a series of numbers that represents all of the genotypes detected in a particular sample for each locus, or area of the DNA molecule, that is examined. This information is communicated in a report that is generated by the laboratory.

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