Fixed-bin analysis for statistical evaluation of continuous distributions of allelic data from VNTR loci, for use in forensic comparisons

Bruce Budowle, A. M. Giusti, J. S. Waye, F. S. Baechtel, R. M. Fourney, D. E. Adams, L. A. Presley, H. A. Deadman, K. L. Monson

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182 Scopus citations

Abstract

The detection of DNA polymorphisms by RFLP analysis is having a major impact on identity testing in forensic science. At present, this approach is the best effort a forensic scientist can make to exclude an individual who has been falsely associated with an evidentiary sample found at a crime scene. When an analysis fails to exclude a suspect as a potential contributor of an evidentiary sample, a means should be provided to assess suitable weight to the putative match. Most important, the statistical analysis should not place undue weight on a genetic profile derived from an unknown sample that is attributed to an accused individual. The method must allow for limitations in conventional agarose-submarine-gel electrophoresis and Southern blotting procedure, limited sample population data, possible subpopulation differences, and potential sampling error. A conservative statistical method was developed based on arbitrarily defined fixed bins. This approach permits classification of continuous allelic data, provides for a simple and portable data-base system, and is unlikely to underestimate the frequency of occurrence of a set of alleles. This will help ensure that undue weight is not placed on a sample attributed to an accused individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-855
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Volume48
Issue number5
StatePublished - 22 May 1991

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