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Ars Technica magazine writes about TrueAllele mixture technology

San Francisco, CA

Technology geek magazine Ars Technica wrote about TrueAllele software. The article contrasts extensively validated commercial products with untested open-source academic programs. Cybergenetics Dr. Mark Perlin is quoted as saying:

“The hallmark of science is empirical testing. Forensic science manufacturers and laboratories must validate their DNA technology. They measure false positive and negative rates, and other reliability metrics. Cybergenetics and others have thoroughly tested the TrueAllele® technology, as published in seven peer-reviewed validation studies.”

“Judges are the gatekeepers of reliable scientific evidence. TrueAllele has been used in most states, and challenged in six of them. In all six decisions, the courts found TrueAllele to be reliable, and admitted the DNA match results into evidence. TrueAllele is used for both the prosecution and defense.”

“Source code is not used to assess forensic software reliability. When reviewing a DNA interpretation method, I look at the math and examine empirical results on real data. If source code is available (e.g., a short academic program) I may test the software, but do not read the source code. Computer accuracy is relevant; software text is not.”

“The larger issue is unvalidated software. The FBI’s Popstats program calculates a combined probability of inclusion (CPI) match statistic. CPI has been used on hundreds of thousands of DNA mixtures, evidence that can implicate or exonerate. After a decade of scientific concerns about CPI’s validity, with recent meltdowns in Washington, DC and Texas, the FBI has yet to publish a rigorous validation study.”

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