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November 27, 2018 State College - SoftGenetics announced the availability of its new MaSTR Probabilistic Mixture Analysis Software. MaSTR software performance has been validated by Dr. Michael Adamowicz, Director of the Forensic Science Program at the University of Nebraska. He was formerly a faculty member and forensic science coordinator for the Henry C Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven, and was also a member of the SWGDAM Mixture Committee which develops and writes mixture analysis guidelines. Dr. Adamowicz co-authored the document containing the initial validation report of the MaSTR software, which was presented at the 2018 ISHI Conference and concluded the following:
“Seventy-seven analyses of 2 to 5-person mixtures resulted in accurate inclusion and positive likelihood ratio for all tested samples. Fifteen of the analyses included non-contributor samples. All of the non-contributor samples were excluded, having negative likelihood ratio results.” Fourteen mixture ratios were tested, including “simple 2-person mixtures with very limited allele sharing, as well as complex 3 to 5-person mixtures. Two-person mixtures with up to 70% allele sharing were used to mimic related individuals in the mixture.”
Probabilistic Mixture Analysis is, “the use of biological modeling, statistical theory, computer algorithms, and probability distributions to calculate likelihood ratios (LRs) and/or infer genotypes for the DNA typing results of forensic samples.”
Current technology utilizes a “black or grey” box approach, which is often difficult for the forensic community to describe in court room situations. The MaSTR program aims to remedy this difficulty by providing transparency. The program was designed following the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) and Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) Probabilistic guidelines and published approaches (Taylor, et al and Bright et al). In order to provide the greatest transparency possible, the analysis code is being made available to users on a confidential basis.
MaSTR utilizes a unique computer system design along with server-client based technology to provide both high analysis speed and flexibility. The server-client based technology allows multiple users to input and review cases from existing client computers, while the MaSTR software continues analysis of subsequent DNA mixtures. The server-client configuration also provides flexibility and lowers investments costs by performing analysis on a dedicated computer, which frees up the analysts’ time and computer for other tasks.
In addition to its revolutionary capabilities, MaSTR software is also exceptionally easy to use. The point-and-click interface enables analysts to create and submit mixture analyses in minutes. The software also easily adapts to future chemistries by importing new or updated panels, and can utilize a laboratory’s unique data set to “train” the software.
SoftGenetics has a long-standing commitment to providing training and support to laboratories during and after software evaluation. SoftGenetics also offers free web-based review and validation trials to interested users. For further information please fill in the form below or email [email protected] or visit the MaSTR software website.