ESR Launches STRmix™ v2.5, Featuring Improved Functionality, Speed, Ease of Use

After a full year of technical development and testing, the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) is launching STRmix™ v2.5.

STRmix™ v2.5 – the sophisticated forensic software used by trained, experienced DNA experts to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously considered too complex to interpret – contains a number of powerful new features designed to significantly improve functionality, speed, and ease of use.

Specific features unavailable in previous versions of STRmix™ include:

  • Multi-kit functionality, enabling interpretation of DNA profiles from different test kits;
  • A likelihood ratio (LR) batcher tool, allowing users to calculate multiple LRs from multiple reference inputs to a previously run deconvolution;
  • Hd true tester tool, permitting users to perform a large number of in-silico specificity tests on a profile-by-profile basis;
  • The addition of theta within Database Search calculations;
  • Optional auto extension of post-burn in when the Gelman-Rubin convergence is not achieved;
  • Newly refreshed reporting module to replace the current Advanced Report plugin;
  • A Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) report;
  • Significant speed and memory improvements; and
  • Password protection (optional) for default settings and kit settings.

“In developing STRmix™ v2.5, the focus was squarely on improved functionality and increasing the user’s ability to interpret complex mixtures in a shorter period of time,” explains Dr. John Buckleton, DSc, FRSNZ, Forensic Scientist at ESR. Buckleton and fellow ESR scientist Jo-Anne Bright developed STRmix™ in collaboration with Duncan Taylor from Forensic Science South Australia (FSSA).

Using standard, well-established statistical methods, STRmix™ builds up a picture of the DNA genotypes that, when added together, best explains the observed mixed DNA profile. STRmix™ then enables users to compare the results against a person or persons of interest and calculate a statistic, or “likelihood ratio,” of the strength of the match.

Twenty U.S. labs are now using STRmix™, while another 70 U.S. labs are at various stages of installation, validation, and training. STRmix™ is being used by numerous local, state, and federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL), the Federal…

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