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.
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