TrueAllele solves uninterpretable DNA in mother and daughter double homicide

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November 2015 Newsletter

Cybergenetics November 2015 Newsletter
Baltimore crime lab goes live with TrueAllele Casework
Cybergenetics study published on the validity of CPI match statistic
TrueAllele admitted into evidence after South Carolina admissibility hearing
Judge to allow TrueAllele evidence in deaths of Wolfe sisters
Australia jury to consider verdict in marathon Robert Xie quintuple homicide case
Baltimore crime lab goes live with TrueAllele Casework BCPD
The Baltimore Police Department Crime Laboratory is now processing DNA mixture evidence through their TrueAllele® Casework system. They are the fourth DNA laboratory in the United States, and sixth worldwide, to go live with Cybergenetics genotyping automation.

Lab Director & Quality Assurance Manager Steve O'Dell says, "The Baltimore Crime Laboratory prides itself on being on the cutting edge of technology and techniques. TrueAllele is not only cutting edge, it is also an absolute must-have to perform effective, useful, reliable and unbiased complex mixture interpretations!"
Wall Street Journal article on TrueAllele Casework technology WSJ
In his WSJ article "DNA Software Riles Defense," reporter Joe Palazzolo writes that law-enforcement authorities are turning to the TrueAllele® computer program to overcome a common hurdle in crime labs -- making sense of mixed-up DNA from crime scenes. Programmers write human-readable "source code" that is translated into computer-readable software. TrueAllele's source code is a commercial trade secret protected by law.

When defense attorneys request TrueAllele's source code, courts deny its disclosure. Reading 170,000 lines of code offers far less insight than testing the program on actual data. Dozens of validation studies have been conducted on TrueAllele's reliability, including seven published in peer-reviewed scientific journals demonstrating the software's effectiveness. TrueAllele has been used in over 500 cases since 2009.

Dr. Mark Perlin of Cybergenetics said, "TrueAllele's basic math and methods are described in scientific papers and patents going back 20 years." Cybergenetics offers to walk defense lawyers through the program on a computer, and lets them test their own data on the TrueAllele Cloud internet platform. Courts in seven states have admitted TrueAllele evidence after unsuccessful defense challenges to its reliability.

Greg Hampikian, a biology professor at Boise State University, works with Dr. Perlin on wrongful conviction cases. He is less concerned about TrueAllele's source code than its performance in double-blind and peer-reviewed validation studies. "The proof is in the pudding -- not the recipe," said Dr. Hampikian, who is director of the Idaho Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal group that pursues exonerations.
 Forensic Magazine article on CPI as 'Random Number Generator' study FM
Forensic Magazine published an article on "DNA Mixture Calculation Method Just 'Random Number Generator,' Says New Study."

Digital reporter Seth Augenstein writes that the Combined Probability of Inclusion (CPI) method used at crime labs nationwide for 15 years is not accurate, according to a new study published by Cybergenetics, a company with a big-computing solution to more accurately analyze mixture data.

"CPI is a random number generator," Cybergenetics founder Dr. Mark Perlin told Forensic Magazine in a phone interview. "There have been convictions based on the flawed CPI model. The question is how many, not whether there are any."

Cybergenetics TrueAllele® software uses all the data to explore all possibilities, and then include or exclude suspects. Multiple peer-reviewed validation studies have borne out the computer's efficacy. TrueAllele has been employed in about 500 cases, mostly by agencies in California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Cybergenetics study published on the validity of CPI match statistic CPI
"Inclusion probability for DNA mixtures is a subjective one-sided match statistic unrelated to identification information" was published today in the Journal of Pathology Informatics. The research article explains why the Combined Probability of Inclusion (CPI) always gives the same "one in a million" answer, but doesn't give accurate match information.

CPI is a popular match statistic for DNA mixtures. CPI is equivalent to Combined Probability of Exclusion (CPE) and Random Man Not Excluded (RMNE). The peer-reviewed study shows that CPI behaves more like a random number generator than like a reliable measure of human identification.
TrueAllele admitted into evidence after South Carolina admissibility hearing SC
TrueAllele® Casework was admitted into evidence today after a Jones challenge by the defense in South Carolina v. Jaquard Aiken. Deputy Solicitor Sean Thornton of the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office presented many binders of documents that supported TrueAllele's admissibility.

Under the state's Jones standard, courts must evaluate several factors: (1) the publications and peer review of the technique; (2) prior application of the method to the type of evidence involved in the case; (3) the quality control procedures used to ensure reliability; and (4) the consistency of the method with recognized scientific laws and procedures.

Judge Carmen Mullen presided over the hearing yesterday afternoon. Chief Scientist Dr. Mark Perlin of Cybergenetics, and DNA Technical Leader Dr. Gray Amick of the Richland County Sheriff's Department, testified about their validation studies and TrueAllele reliability. The judge ruled this afternoon that TrueAllele was admissible, and could be heard as DNA evidence at the jury trial.
Judge to allow TrueAllele evidence in deaths of Wolfe sisters AC
Prosecutors will be allowed to present DNA mixture evidence in the trial of Allen Wade, accused of killing Susan and Sarah Wolfe in their East Liberty home two years ago. Defense attorneys had asked for an admissibility hearing on the TrueAllele software used to connect Wade to the crime, claiming the DNA analysis technology is not scientifically valid.

Assistant District Attorney William Petulla said that the Superior Court's 2012 Pennsylvania v. Foley decision established TrueAllele's validity, and that there have been seven published peer-reviewed validation studies on the system's reliability. Respecting the Foley precedent, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski ruled that TrueAllele is generally accepted in the scientific community, and denied Wade's request.  
Australia jury to consider verdict in marathon Robert Xie quintuple homicide case AUS
The jury in the trial of Robert Xie has retired to consider its verdict. Xie is accused of murdering five Lin family members. After more than nine months of trial, the judge instructed the jury to begin their deliberations.

The Crown case centers on a small blood smear found on Xie's garage floor. Dr. Mark Perlin of Cybergenetics testified in June about this DNA mixture. TrueAllele separated the data into five genotypes, connecting the mixture evidence to the DNA of the related victims.
TrueAllele mixture analysis places New Orleans killer at crime scene NOLA
Christopher Hutsell, a 38 year old homeless New Orleans man, was accused of killing 23 year old Julia 'Zoe' Anderson. The victim was an Indiana native who led a wandering life. She died of a single stab wound to her chest on March 19 in a McDonald's restaurant parking lot.

A DNA mixture was recovered from a water bottle found at the crime scene. TrueAllele showed the mixture to be 50% Hutsell and 25% Anderson, placing them together at the scene. This physical evidence supported eyewitness testimony, and contradicted Hutsell's assertion that he wasn't there.

Cybergenetics Dr. Mark Perlin testified about the TrueAllele results before a New Orleans jury on November 12. The jury convicted Hutsell on November 17 of second-degree murder. Hutsell faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
 Announcements AN
Cybergenetics offers a no cost TrueAllele evaluation of challenging or inconclusive DNA mixtures from criminal cases.

TrueAllele Casework objectively interprets complex DNA evidence.  Starting from laboratory data, TrueAllele quickly separates mixtures to produce accurate match statistics. The technology resolves degraded and touch DNA, and mixtures with many contributors or relatives.  TrueAllele routinely makes DNA identifications for police, prosecutors, defense lawyers, crime labs, and actual innocence.  

The TrueAllele Cloud lets anyone test DNA evidence.  Forensic scientists and students can learn about TrueAllele on the Cloud.  Crime laboratories use the TrueAllele Cloud for validation, training, and extra computer capacity.  Defense lawyers and experts can confirm TrueAllele case reports.

For free screening or to start testing DNA mixtures on the TrueAllele Cloud, please contact Lisa for a no cost trial.
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Lisa Wennersten
National Sales Manager
Cybergenetics | 
160 North Craig Street, Suite 210 
Pittsburgh, PA 15213