STRmix™, sophisticated forensic software used to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously thought to be too complex to interpret, is now being used by the Johnson County (Kansas) Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory aids in criminal investigations through timely, unbiased, high-quality forensic services performed by highly trained experts using state-of the art instrumentation and scientific techniques.
Fifty-six forensic labs nationally are now using STRmix™ to interpret DNA profiles in criminal investigations. That list includes federal agencies such as the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), as well as numerous state and local organizations.
Four other labs – the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories, the Jefferson Parish (LA) Sheriff’s Office Regional DNA Laboratory, the Contra Costa County (CA) Office of the Sheriff, and New York’s Suffolk County Crime Laboratory – began using STRmix™ earlier this year.
STRmix™ is also in various stages of installation, validation, and training in more than 60 other U.S. organizations.
Since its introduction eight years ago, STRmix™ has been used to interpret DNA evidence in more than 120,000 cases worldwide. It has also been used successfully in numerous U.S. court cases, including at least 37 successful admissibility hearings.
“STRmix™ has produced a significant increase in usable, interpretable, and admissible DNA results in a wide range of criminal cases,” says John Buckleton DSc, FRSNZ, Forensic Scientist at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and one of the developers of STRmix™.
According to Buckleton, those results include “evidence from guns, other touch evidence, and sexual assault evidence. STRmix™ has also proved to be effective in helping to solve cold cases in which evidence originally dismissed as inconclusive has been reprocessed.”
The latest version of STRmix™, STRmix™ v2.7, was introduced in late 2019. STRmix™ v2.7 includes several new features in response to improvements recommended by forensic labs to better address the on-the-job needs they regularly encounter.
In addition, DBLR™, an application used with STRmix™, was introduced last year. DBLR™ allows users to undertake superfast database searches, visualize the value of their DNA mixture evidence, and carry out mixture to mixture matches.