When Good DNA Goes Bad
Mark W. Perlin*
Cybergenetics Corp, 160 North Craig Street, Suite 210, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
- Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Mark W. Perlin
Chief Scientific Officer, Cybergenetics
160 North Craig Street, Suite 210, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: December 01, 2012; Accepted Date: December 29, 2012; Published Date: December 31, 2012
Citation: Perlin MW (2013) When Good DNA Goes Bad. J Forensic Res S11:003. doi: 10.4172/2157-7145.S11-003
Copyright: © 2013 Perlin MW. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DNA evidence is the forensic gold standard. However, the interpretation of this evidence can be challenging. Sophisticated mathematical computing can provide accurate and reliable interpretation of DNA mixtures that contain two or more individuals. But the reliability of human review of such data is less well established. This paper explores what happens when good DNA data is badly interpreted. The genotype is used as a unifying concept, with mixture evidence containing multiple genotypes. Highly informative computer interpretation of mixtures is compared with less quantitative human approximation. Seven cases are examined where, on the same data, human review gave appreciably different results than the computer’s more thorough assessment. These interpretation differences can affect criminal justice outcomes, suggesting that sophisticated computing is needed to help people interpret challenging DNA mixture evidence.