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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff

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Cybergenetics TrueAllele Validated in Open-Access Scientific Study

Mixtures of two or more people are the bane of forensic DNA laboratories. Hundreds of thousands of evidence items go unused because human analysts cannot interpret them. Cybergenetics TrueAllele Casework computer system can reliably preserve identification information in these cases, as described in a recent Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) article entitled “New York State TrueAllele® Casework Validation Study.”

“DNA mixtures provide powerful evidence to identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent,” says Dr. Mark Perlin, lead author and senior scientist at Cybergenetics. “Crime labs discard most of this information because simplified manual methods lack the multi-dimensional capabilities of sophisticated computing.”

This fourth validation study shows that TrueAllele can reliably separate a complex mixture into its component genotypes, and then produce an informative match statistic to people whose DNA is in the mix. TrueAllele computing can also determine when someone’s DNA is not present.

The peer-reviewed study examined 81 DNA mixture items, largely drawn from sexual assaults. TrueAllele found 87 DNA matches, having on average a quadrillion match statistic. Human experts reported on just 25 items, artificially reducing match statistics over a million-fold.

TrueAllele is a reliable way to interpret DNA evidence. According to the JFS paper, the computer’s approach thoroughly examines DNA mixture data, objectively eliminates potential examiner bias, accurately preserves identification information, and reproducibly standardizes mixture analysis.

The New York State Police (NYSP) Forensic Investigation Center (FIC) in Albany has received Forensic Commission approval to use TrueAllele technology for forensic casework. The FIC has completed multiple validation studies, trained over thirty forensic analysts, and is poised to use their in-house TrueAllele supercomputer to solve crimes.

Coauthor Dr. Barry Duceman is NYSP director of biological sciences. “Anything that extends our capabilities is exciting, and we’re anxious to get it in place and get started,” Dr. Duceman has said. “I’m convinced it is the way of the future for forensic DNA analysis." Crime labs in California and Virginia are already using TrueAllele for their DNA mixtures.”

Hundreds of thousands of rape kits remain unanalyzed, partly because human analysts cannot interpret them properly – while TrueAllele computing can. “There are no excuses for compromising public safety,” says Dr. Ria David, president of Cybergenetics.

Dr. Perlin’s recent talk to NYS prosecutors on “No DNA Left Behind” is on YouTube.

Cybergenetics develops TrueAllele technology that objectively interprets DNA evidence, providing computer systems and databases to crime labs, and expert witness services for criminal cases. The Pittsburgh-based company was founded in 1994, and is privately held. United States patents include 5,541,067, 5,580,728, 5,876,933, 6,054,268, 6,750,011 and 6,807,490. European patent 1,229,135 issued this year.

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