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J Forensic Sci. 1999 Sep;44(5):987-95.

Interpreting DNA mixtures in structured populations.

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  • 1Department of Statistics, North Carolina, State University, Raleigh, USA.


DNA profiles from multiple-contributor samples are interpreted by comparing the probabilities of the profiles under alternative propositions. The propositions may specify some known contributors to the sample and may also specify a number of unknown contributors. The probability of the alleles carried by the set of people, known or unknown, depends on the allelic frequencies and also upon any relationships among the people. Membership of the same subpopulation implies a relationship from a shared evolutionary history, and this effect has been incorporated into the probabilities. This acknowledgment of the effects of population structure requires account to be taken of all people in a subpopulation who are typed, whether or not they contributed to the sample.

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