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Kern County’s TrueAllele Computing Routinely Solves Impossible DNA Mixtures
Cybergenetics automated workflow revolutionizes DNA evidence interpretation
PITTSBURGH, PA, March 24, 2014
A match-driven TrueAllele® workflow is a DNA hit in Kern County, California.
Most crime labs manually interpret data from mixtures of two or more people. Their painstaking analysis often yields no useful result, and can mistakenly discard important DNA evidence as “inconclusive”. But Kern County forensic scientists let their automated TrueAllele computer tackle the hard interpretation task, and simply “harvest” DNA match results afterwards.
“We just feed TrueAllele the data, and let it run,” says Dr. Kevin Miller, Director of the Kern Regional Crime Laboratory (KRCL) in Bakersfield, CA. “In one day, our TrueAllele system can rapidly interpret hundreds of DNA evidence items, including complex mixtures,” he said. “When there is a DNA hit worth reporting, TrueAllele tells us – and then we can investigate further.”
In October, the KRCL became the first DNA lab in the United States to go live with TrueAllele probabilistic genotyping. TrueAllele has been to court in Kern County, successfully withstanding admissibility challenge. Kern’s extensive validation studies show TrueAllele reliably interprets DNA mixtures containing up to five unknown contributors.
“The Kern County District Attorney’s Office is a world leader in DNA analysis,” says Dr. Mark Perlin, Chief Scientific and Executive Officer of Cybergenetics in Pittsburgh, PA. “They understand how using better technology can better protect the public from crime.”
Dr. Perlin has testified in serial gang and rape cases in the county. “Kern’s scientists readily learn new ideas and methods,” Dr. Perlin said. “They apply TrueAllele science to achieve unprecedented DNA results that advance criminal justice and societal safety,” he said.
Kern’s first TrueAllele result was a DNA exoneration. “With TrueAllele,” says Dr. Miller, “we are routinely developing DNA evidence in cases that conventional methods could not possibly solve.” Kern’s TrueAllele system was purchased with a grant from the National Institute of Justice.
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.