STRmix Limited Launches New Version of FaSTR™ DNA
Expert Forensic Software Seamlessly Integrates with STRmix™ for Greater Speed, Efficiency
STRmix Limited has released a completely new version of FaSTR™ DNA containing major updates which further strengthen the expert forensic software’s ability to rapidly analyze DNA profiles and assign a Number of Contributors (NoC) estimate.
Created by the same team that created STRmix™ – sophisticated forensic software capable of resolving mixed DNA profiles previously regarded as too complex or degraded to interpret – the new version of FaSTR™ DNA speeds the analysis of raw data generated by genetic analyzers and standard profiling kits. It does this by combining an intuitive, user-friendly graphical interface with easily understandable and laboratory-customizable rules.
FaSTR™ DNA seamlessly integrates with STRmix™ (when in use) for even greater speed and efficiency in analysis and interpretation of complex mixed DNA profiles. When used in combination with STRmix™ and DBLR™ (software which allows forensic laboratories to undertake superfast database searches, visualize the value of DNA mixture evidence, and carry out mixture-to-mixture matches), FaSTR™ DNA completes the full workflow from analysis to interpretation, database matching, and intelligence.
“Recognizing the need for speed, accuracy, and simplicity, particular attention has been paid in developing FaSTR™ DNA to simplifying the analysis procedure. Doing so enables reliable results to be achieved with minimum effort,” explains Dr Meng-Han Lin, Senior Scientist, STRmix Team.
The new version of FaSTR™ DNA features numerous improvements, including:
- A sample-to-sample and sample-to-database comparison module to facilitate quality checks across an analysis project;
- Changes to the ILS review to improve the workflow when alignment fails;
- Improvements to the ANN peak classification;
- A Number of Contributors (NoC) decision tree for the PowerPlex® Fusion 6C kit;
- Display improvements including a record of maximum allele count across the profile, and a record of distances, peak height ratios, and averages (where applicable) across multiple peak selections; and
- Improved functionality for analysis of Y-STR data.
FaSTR™ DNA also implements the optional use of artificial neural networks (ANN) for peak classification independent of, and in parallel to, the forensic analyst.
FaSTR™ DNA works by applying a set of fully configurable rules to analyze most DNA profiles automatically. In some instances, DNA analysis is more complex, and automated heuristics (analysis rules) alone may not be able to resolve all profiles. Where the intervention of a DNA analyst is required, FaSTR™ DNA readily provides all details related to possible ambiguity of a peak (i.e. stutter type, stutter ratio, composite stutter, pull-up proportion, N/shoulder peak, peak morphology, low homozygote, heterozygote imbalance) and signals a requirement for the DNA analyst to make a decision. It then records and highlights changes made by the analyst.
The algorithms used for analysis in FaSTR™ DNA are conceptually adapted from the proven approach of OSIRIS analysis software (National Center for Biotechnology Information).