Special Issue "Improved Methods in Forensic and DNA Analysis"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioinformatics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 November 2022 | Viewed by 776

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Marie Allen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: challenging DNA analysis; degraded DNA; mtDNA; STRs; NGS

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forensic DNA analysis has developed into an essential tool in criminal investigations. However, many factors can challenge DNA analysis, such as only retrieving small amounts of DNA from important forensic evidence items. Furthermore, the integrity of the DNA may be influenced by environmental factors leading to damage and degradation of the DNA. Another challenge is that numerous inhibitors may be coextracted with the DNA, leading to less efficient DNA profiling. Although new technologies have been developed (e.g., next-generation sequencing), it is crucial to use optimal protocols in all analysis steps, including sampling, extraction, further purification, DNA profiling, and bioinformatic analysis. This Special Issue is dedicated to reports demonstrating optimised forensic protocols and strategies in all stages of forensic DNA analysis and for a variety of criminal cases.

Prof. Dr. Marie Allen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • forensic genetics
  • human identification
  • criminal cases
  • mitochondrial DNA
  • short tandem repeats
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms
  • DNA phenotyping
  • DNA extraction
  • DNA quantification
  • improved PCR
  • next-generation sequencing
  • bioinformatic pipelines

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Empirical Evidence on Enhanced Mutation Rates of 19 RM-YSTRs for Differentiating Paternal Lineages
Genes 2022, 13(6), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13060946 - 26 May 2022
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Rapidly mutating Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (RM Y STRs) with mutation rates ≥ 10−2 per locus per generation are valuable for differentiating amongst male paternal relatives where standard Y STRs with mutation rates of ≤10−3 per locus per generation may not. [...] Read more.
Rapidly mutating Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (RM Y STRs) with mutation rates ≥ 10−2 per locus per generation are valuable for differentiating amongst male paternal relatives where standard Y STRs with mutation rates of ≤10−3 per locus per generation may not. Although the 13 RM Y STRs commonly found in commercial assays provide higher levels of paternal lineage differentiation than conventional Y STRs, there are many male paternal relatives that still cannot be differentiated. This can be improved by increasing the number of Y STRs or choosing those with high mutation rates. We present a RM Y STR multiplex comprising 19 loci with high mutation rates and its developmental validation (repeatability, sensitivity and male specificity). The multiplex was found to be robust, reproducible, specific and sensitive enough to generate DNA profiles from samples with inhibitors. It was also able to detect all contributor alleles of mixtures in ratios up to 9:1. We provide preliminary evidence for the ability of the multiplex to discriminate between male paternal relatives by analyzing large numbers of male relative pairs (536) separated by one to seven meioses. A total of 96 mutations were observed in 162 meioses of father–son pairs, and other closely related male pairs were able to be differentiated after 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 meiosis in 44%, 69%, 68%, 85%, 0%, 100% and 100% of cases, respectively. The multiplex offers a noticeable enhancement in the ability to differentiate paternally related males compared with the 13 RM Y STR set. We envision the future application of our 19 RM Yplex in criminal cases for the exclusion of male relatives possessing matching standard Y STR profiles and in familial searching with unknown suspects. It represents a step towards the complete individualization of closely related males. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improved Methods in Forensic and DNA Analysis)
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