TrueAllele solves uninterpretable DNA in mother and daughter double homicide

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TrueAllele® computational forensics for solving "uninterpretable" DNA mixtures

M. W. Perlin, "TrueAllele® computational forensics for solving 'uninterpretable' DNA mixtures", National Forensic Science University, Dharwad, Karnataka, India, 29-Nov-2023.


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Many crime laboratories do not report on all their DNA evidence. After visually examining data, a forensic analyst may decide that the data signals are too low or too complex for their lab’s interpretation methods to handle. And so, by deeming DNA data “uninterpretable”, vital scientific evidence is lost to criminal justice.

The data interpretation problem is especially acute with DNA mixtures, a combination of DNA from two or more people. DNA interpretation may also fail with degraded or small amounts of DNA. Crime labs have discarded the identification information from millions of evidence items as “uninterpretable”, uninformative, insufficient, or too complex.

But Cybergenetics solved the “uninterpretable” DNA data problem over twenty years ago. They developed the computer-based TrueAllele technology, replacing less informative human review. The company invented Bayesian probabilistic genotyping, which preserves information from complex DNA data instead of throwing it out.

This talk tells the history of the company, the technology, and the impact on forensic science and criminal justice. It presents homicide, mass disaster, sexual assault, and exoneration case examples. The talk shows how to report on information success, instead of “uninterpretable” failure. TrueAllele computational forensics delivers the information and automation needed in a just society.


Founder Dr. Mark Perlin is Chief Scientific and Executive Officer at Cybergenetics. He has twenty-five years’ experience developing computer methods for information-rich interpretation of DNA evidence. Cybergenetics provides TrueAllele products and services to the criminal justice community. The company reanalyzed the DNA data from the World Trade Center disaster to identify victim remains. TrueAllele has helped exonerate ten innocent men.

Dr. Perlin’s innovative TrueAllele computer solution has supplanted less accurate forensic approaches. He has worked on a thousand criminal cases, and has testified a hundred times, in state, federal, military, and foreign courts. He regularly teaches DNA mixture analysis to scientists, lawyers, judges, juries, students, and police. He publishes original research in scientific papers, presents his findings at scientific meetings, consults for both prosecution and defense, and writes articles and book chapters about computational forensics.

Dr. Perlin holds two doctoral degrees, one in Mathematics from The City University of New York, and one in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. He also earned a Medicine degree from The University of Chicago.


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