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Arch Med Sadowej Kryminol. 2014;64(3):175-94.

A new dimension of the forensic DNA expertise - the need for training experts and expertise recipients.

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Wojciech Branicki, Institute of Forensic Research, Westerplatte 9, 31-033 Krakow, Poland, e-mail:


Forensic genetics is a rapidly developing discipline. Nowadays, human genetic identification relies on the application of complex solutions ensuring high sensitivity and resistance to the inhibition and degradation of biological traces, and revealing maximum information which has relevance for the justice system. However, recent improvements in forensic DNA identification testing are associated with problems including secondary transfer, DNA mixtures and incompleteness of DNA profiles, which were formerly less significant. It also seems that the potential of the national DNA database in Poland has not been fully developed, and it is necessary to implement an appropriate information policy in order to improve it. Novel methods that can be applied at the level of investigation include analysis of biogeographic ancestry, prediction of visible traits, and estimation of human chronological age. Moreover, next-generation sequencing has a potential to entirely replace capillary electrophoresis in forensic genetics. Further works are necessary to ensure a proper implementation of uniform standards of data interpretation and evaluation of DNA evidence in forensic genetics. In order to maintain proper standards of forensic DNA assessment, continuous training of DNA experts and appropriate information policy for recipients of DNA assessments are required.

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