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ASB Announces New Probabilistic Genotyping Standard

ASB Announces New Probabilistic Genotyping Standard

New standard sets requirements to be used by laboratories for the validation of probabilistic genotyping systems related to interpreting autosomal STR results

The AAFS Standards Board (ASB) is pleased to announce the publication of ANSI/ASB Standard 018, Standard for Validation of Probabilistic Genotyping Systems, First Edition, 2020.

This standard was produced through ASB’s DNA Consensus Body and sets requirements to be used by laboratories for the validation of probabilistic genotyping systems related to interpreting autosomal STR results. It was developed through a consensus process accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which considers input from all stakeholders including forensic scientists, the legal community, academia, and manufacturers. The standard is based partly on earlier work by the Biology/DNA Interpretation and Reporting Subcommittee of the Subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science.

Probabilistic genotyping systems are computer programs that apply various algorithms to aid in the interpretation of DNA mixtures. They are a major improvement over the previously used subjective methods where more complex DNA mixtures were unable to be interpreted. The validation of these software systems is a critical step for any DNA laboratory to perform prior to applying probabilistic genotyping to casework.


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This standard provides an essential framework for forensic laboratories validating a probabilistic genotyping system for the interpretation of autosomal STRs. Forensic laboratories that already use a probabilistic genotyping system can review their validation for compliance with this standard and supplement their previous validation where necessary. Validations of these systems in accordance with this ANSI/ASB Standard will provide the criminal justice system increased confidence in the application and scientific validity of this type of DNA interpretation.

ASB documents are available for download in the Published Documents portion of the ASB website.

The AAFS Standards Board (ASB) is an ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organization with the purpose of providing accessible, high quality, science-based, consensus standards for the forensic science community. The ASB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). It was established in 2015, and was accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2016. The ASB is partially funded by a grant through the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

The ASB consists of consensus bodies (CB), which are open to all materially interested and affected individuals, companies, and organizations; a board of directors; and staff.

- This press release was originally published on the ASB website