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Exploring the DNA mixture deconvolution through simulation.

Abstract

If an unambiguous single-source DNA profile is obtained from a crime scene, then a potential person of interest can either match or not match the crime scene profile and the likelihood ratio for the single matching genotype can be easily computed. Mixed DNA profiles on the other hand are typically ambiguous and a vast number of different likelihood ratios can be obtained depending on the genotype of a potential person of interest that is compared with the mixture later. In the absence of a person of interest it can be unclear how suitable the profile is for discriminating between donors and non-donors. We introduce a simulation method to explore the range of likelihood ratios that is expected to be obtained when a non-donor or a true donor is compared with the mixed DNA profile. Sampling is conditional on the mixture deconvolution obtained using probabilistic genotyping. These simulations help to decide whether or not a (mixed) profile is suitable for comparison to a person of interest. Moreover, the methods can be used to determine whether a profile is suitable for upload to a database and whether or not potential rework could be advised.

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