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Lecture 34 – Determining the Probative Value of nDNA and mtDNA

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Anthropology 2235A/B
Eldon Molto

Lecture 34 – Determining the Probative Value of nDNA and mtDNA  STR DNA databanks are available  Databank is a repository of DNA profiles from criminals (convicted offenders) and investigate casework evidence samples and comparison samples  CODIS is a software program developed by the FBI to catalogue and compare DNA profiles in North America  National DNA Databank of Canada implemented in June 2000 contains two types of samples  Crime scene index (CSI) and Convicted Offenders Index (COI)  Purpose of databank is to help law enforcement identify perpetrators of crimes  We also have databases which are smaller complicates  Using 13 independent STRs and the product rule can be infinitely small (in trillions)  Assessing the Significance of a STR DNA Profile Match o A match between two STR profiles is declared when there are no qualitative differences between them o Can be same bands or sequence or base repeats on the electropherogram o A match has two explanations  The profiles come from the same person  Profiles come from two different individuals = a coincidental match  Frequentist Model o The simplest approach to estimating the significance of an STR match is to calculate the frequency of occurrence of that profile in the population o Because of the Mendelian Population approach forensic scientists use broad racial categories to represent the populations, which though technically problematic from a theoretical viewpoint has some validity from the standpoint of different groups having different relative frequencies for the STR
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