Volume 46, Issue 5 (September 2001)
NIST Mixed Stain Studies #1 and #2: Interlaboratory Comparison of DNA Quantification Practice and Short Tandem Repeat Multiplex Performance with Multiple-Source Samples
The Mixed Stain Study 1 (MSS1, Apr.–Nov. 1997) and Mixed Stain Study 2 (MSS2, Jan.–May 1999) evaluated multiplexed short-tandem repeat (STR) DNA typing systems with samples containing DNA from more than one source. These interlaboratory challenge studies evaluated forensic STR measurement, interpretation, and reporting practice using well-characterized samples of very different analytical difficulty. None of the relatively few errors reported in either exercise resulted in a false identification of a reference source; several errors in evaluating the unknown source in three-source samples would hinder matching the profile in any archival database. None of the measurement anomalies reported is associated with any particular STR multiplex; all DNA amplification anomalies are associated with inefficient DNA extraction, inaccurate DNA quantitation, and/or analytical threshold policies.