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Ensuring Accurate Analysis of Biological Evidence: The NIST Human DNA Standard

Dna Network Research Chemistry Medical Biology

DNA profiles can play an important role in criminal investigations. However, ensuring accuracy when developing genetic profiles is key.

In July 2019, NIST researchers released the latest version of a human DNA standard to help crime labs get the technique right. With this standard, labs get not only the DNA itself but also an accurate DNA profile for comparison.

DNA labs use the NIST standard to double-check their instruments and methods. The goal of using a standard is to promote quality control, prevent wrongful convictions due to faulty processes. Researchers explain that this way if questions come up in court, experts can say “We’ve properly calibrated our instruments using the NIST standard.”

NIST forensic DNA scientist Becky Steffen takes a closer look at the human DNA standard in her Q&A article.

CSAFE researchers utilize other NIST standards such as the standard bullet to calibrate our instruments and promote accuracy. Learn more about how CSAFE uses the NIST standard bullet in our firearms and ballistics analysis.