STRmix™ Version 2.9 is the newest version of the groundbreaking forensic software used to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously considered too complex to interpret, has been officially launched.
STRmix™ which was originally released in 2012 has proven to be a highly effective tool in producing usable, interpretable, and admissible DNA results in a wide range of violent criminal cases, including sexual assault cases.
It has also proven instrumental in helping to solve cold cases in which evidence was originally dismissed as inconclusive.
(Learn More. Courtesy of STRmix and Vimeo.)
The STRmix™ lastest version contains a number of exciting new features in response to recommendations made by the forensic laboratories currently using the software.
These new features include:
The introduction of a batch maker mode, allowing multiple interpretations to occur simultaneously, and database search templates;
Memory usage improvements, which are particularly significant in dealing with higher-order DNA profile mixtures; and
Improvements to biological modeling calculations designed to improve the modeling of stutter peaks.
“The new batchmaker mode in STRmix™ v2.9 is a super quick and easy way to set up multiple interpretations at once – we hope it will save users time and increase the efficiency of their workflows”, explains Dr. Jo-Anne Bright, Senior Science Leader at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and one of the developers of STRmix™.
“These changes will enable those labs to better address the on-the-job needs they regularly encounter.”
Noting that the latest version of STRmix™ underwent more than a year of extensive development and testing, Dr. Bright says that demand for the software “continues to be extremely high due to the critical role it plays in helping to solve crimes and excluding individuals who have been wrongly associated as the source of crime scene evidence.”
(Learn More. Courtesy of ESR-NZ and YouTube.)
“We are really excited about the performance improvements that we are seeing in STRmix™ v2.9, particularly effective on the sorts of higher order mixtures that some of our users are now tackling”, said Judi Morawitz, Development and Test Lead, at STRmix™.
“As an example we have seen some five-person mixtures deconvoluted using the memory commonly seen on a lower spec laptop.”
“With the release of STRmix™ v2.9 we have continued to focus on better ways of training our users, increasingly adding e-learning modules to improve the training experience”, added Catherine McGovern, Training and Support Lead, STRmix™.
STRmix™ has been used to interpret DNA evidence in more than 300,000 cases to date worldwide, which includes numerous U.S. court cases, and at least 83 successful admissibility hearings.
STRmix™ works by assessing how closely multitudes of proposed profiles resemble or can explain an observed DNA mixture.
Using well-established statistical methods routinely used in computational biology, physics, engineering, and weather prediction, the probability of the observed DNA evidence can be calculated assuming the DNA originated from either a person of interest or an unknown donor.
These two probabilities are then presented as a likelihood ratio (LR), inferring the value of the findings and level of support for one proposition over the other.
“The release of version 2.9 sees STRmix™ go from strength to strength,” said Björn Sutherland, STRmix Manager.
“We really hope our users will appreciate the hard-won improvements that we continue to build into our software.”
The team behind STRmix™ has also launched two related products:
DBLR™, an application used with STRmix™ that allows users to undertake superfast database searches, visualize the value of their DNA mixture evidence, carry out mixture to mixture matches and kinship analyses; and
FaSTR™ DNA, expert forensic software that rapidly analyzes raw DNA data generated by genetic analyzers and standard profiling kits and assigns a number of contributors (NoC) estimate.
Together, STRmix™, FaSTR™ DNA, and DBLR™ complete the full workflow from analysis to interpretation and database matching.
For additional information, go to http://www.strmix.com.
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