WASHINGTON, DC (8/16/18) – The latest version of the groundbreaking forensic software STRmix™ will be launched today following a full year of development and testing. STRmix™ is used to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously considered too complex to interpret.
STRmix™ Version 2.6 features a user interface that has been completely redeveloped and refreshed, providing users with vastly improved usability and workflow. Unlike previous versions of STRmix™, Version 2.6 also enables a range of contributors to be entered when performing a deconvolution, and now any type of stutter can be added and configured.
“We have really been listening to our user community and, by delivering these new features, feel that we are addressing the needs they have identified,” says Martin Riegel, Chief Executive Officer of STRmix™ Ltd., the newly formed subsidiary of the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR).
Among other new features, “Batch Mode in STRmix™ v2.6 can now run other STRmix™ functions, such as the Likelihood Ratio from Previous, Model Maker, and Database Search,” explains Dr. John Buckleton, DSc, FRSNZ, Forensic Scientist at ESR. “Aspects of the biological modelling have also been updated and improved, and reports have been further enhanced.”
Buckleton and fellow ESR scientist Jo-Anne Bright developed STRmix™ in collaboration with Duncan Taylor from Forensic Science South Australia (FSSA).
STRmix™ v2.6 is being launched just over a year after the introduction of STRmix™ v2.5, which focused on features designed to significantly improve functionality, speed, and ease of use.
The new features within STRmix™ are in addition to such existing features as the ability to interpret profiles generated from different kits; a likelihood ratio (LR) batcher tool, allowing users to calculate multiple LRs from multiple reference inputs to a previously run deconvolution; and a Hd true tester tool, permitting users to perform a large number of in-silico specificity tests on a profile-by-profile basis.
Thirty-six U.S. labs now routinely use STRmix™ to resolve DNA profiles. This includes everything from federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI to state and local agencies, including the Michigan State Police, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the California Department of Justice. STRmix™ is also in various stages of installation, validation, and training in more than 50 other U.S. labs.
To date, there have been at least 22 successful admissibility hearings for STRmix™ in the U.S., while DNA evidence interpreted with STRmix™ has been successfully used in numerous court cases.
Internationally, STRmix™ has been used in casework since 2012. Currently in use in 14 labs in Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada, STRmix™ has been used to interpret DNA evidence in more than 100,000 cases.