Volume 46, Issue 6 (November 2001)
Linear Mixture Analysis: A Mathematical Approach to Resolving Mixed DNA Samples
With the advent of PCR-based STR typing systems, mixed samples can be separated into their individual DNA profiles. Quantitative peak information can help in this analysis. However, despite such advances, forensic mixture analysis still remains a laborious art, with the high cost and effort often precluding timely reporting.
We introduce here a new automated approach to resolving forensic DNA mixtures. Our linear mixture analysis (LMA) is a straight-forward mathematical approach that can integrate all the quantitative PCR data into a single rapid computation. LMA has application to diverse mixture problems. As demonstrated here on laboratory STR data, LMA can assess the quality and utility of its solutions. Such rapid and robust methods for computer-based analysis of DNA mixtures may help in reducing crime.