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An evaluation of potential allelic association between the STRs vWA and D12S391: Implications in criminal casework and applications to short pedigrees

Abstract

An evaluation was carried out to determine the effect on routine forensic calculations when incorporating STRs D12S391 and vWA. These loci are co-located on the same arm of chromosome 12. It has been suggested that allelic association could result in over-estimates of strength-of-evidence calculations. In the first place, we argue that is very unlikely that genotypes collected from typical cosmopolitan forensic databases can provide meaningful information about effects attributable to physical linkage. Since admixture is the most likely cause of allelic association in modern populations we specifically evaluate this effect. We use computer simulation as the preferred approach to generate populations with disequilibrium and observe the effect on match probability. Although we have specifically evaluated the linkage between D12S391 and vWA, the methods described in this paper can be extended and generalized to evaluate linkage effects between any pair of loci where the recombination rate is known.

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