New Rutgers database helps interpret complex DNA evidence
Forensic DNA evidence is a valuable too used in criminal investigations to try and link a suspect to the scene of the crime. The problem is since genetic material found at a crime scene can come from more than one person, the process of fingering a suspect can be difficult. But now that task may become less challenging.
A new database developed by researchers at Rutgers University-Camden is called PROVEDIt — Project Research Openness for Validation with Empirical Data.
Catherine Grgicak, the Henry Rutgers chair and associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Center of Computational and Integrative Biology, says the database may bring more reliability to the interpretation of complex DNA evidence.
She says in analyzing DNA mixtures, scientists will often find partial matches, so part of the determination of whether a suspect is part of that evidence depends on interpretations by forensic scientists.
PROVEDIt can be used by researchers to develop new technologies and to test consistency in DNA interpretation across the country.
Right now, different labs implement specific interpretation protocols that are not necessarily the same protocols in every lab across the nation, says Grgicak.
PROVEDIt database is free and available to anyone on The Laboratory for Forensic Technology Development with Integration website at www.lftdi.com.
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