Forensic labs in San Antonio, TX, Golden, CO, and Tucson, AZ have announced they will begin using STRmix™ to resolve DNA profiles in criminal investigations.
Sophisticated forensic software that can be used to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously thought to be too complex to interpret, STRmix™ is being regularly used in 51 forensic labs throughout the U.S. Another 60 U.S. forensic labs are now in various stages of STRmix™ installation, validation, and training.
San Antonio’s Bexar County Criminal Investigation Laboratory provides the citizens of Bexar County with comprehensive, impartial, reliable scientific analysis of evidence by experts skilled in the latest technology in forensic science.
The Jefferson County Regional Crime Laboratory, based in Golden, CO, provides services to all law enforcement agencies within Jefferson County, including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Arvada, Golden, Lakewood, and Wheat Ridge Police Departments. The lab also provides training in a variety of forensic disciplines to law enforcement agencies.
Finally, the Tucson (AZ) Police Department Crime Laboratory is part of the Forensics Division of the Investigative Services Bureau, providing the Tucson community with quality forensic science and service.
These labs join a national list of forensic labs using STRmix™ that now includes the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Internationally, STRmix™ is being used by nearly two dozen forensic labs in Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Finland, Dubai, Denmark, Switzerland and Canada.
Since its introduction in 2012, STRmix™ has been used to interpret DNA evidence in more than 120,000 cases around the world. It has also been used successfully in numerous U.S. court cases, including 28 successful admissibility hearings.
“Forensic labs increasingly are using STRmix™ because of its success in producing usable, admissible DNA evidence 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™.
Dr. Buckleton notes that labs using STRmix™ are reporting an increase of interpretable DNA in gun cases from about 40% to more than 70%. STRmix™ is also producing a much better return on investment by delivering a significantly higher rate of interpretable results in sexual assault cases.
A new 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. DBLR™, an application used with STRmix™, was also 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.