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Investigative DNA Databases That Preserve Identification Information

Perlin, M.W. Investigative DNA databases that preserve identification information. Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, DOI 10.1016/j.fsigss.2011.09.103, 2011.


Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series


At the heart of the science of genetics is the genotype, a genetic type comprised of allele pairs at a set of loci. Since the time of the 19th century, genotypes have been understood to be uncertain quantities represented by probability. Forensic DNA has uprooted that scientific tradition, seeking genotype certainty where none exists in the evidence. The result is a tremendous loss of identification information through the application of misguided scientific models. That information loss extends to forensic DNA databases, where genotypes are incorrectly stored as allele pairs or lists, rather than preserving their full identification power through a standard probability representation. The consequences to society are severe, since the loss of DNA database investigative information leads to the needless victimization of innocent citizens by crimes that could have been prevented. The solution is to deploy investigative DNA databases that properly preserve identification information using probabilistic genotypes.