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Forensic Sci Int. 1992 Jan;52(2):181-91.

Statistical analysis of the measurement errors in the determination of fragment length in DNA-RFLP analysis.

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Institute of Forensic Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


DNA from human whole blood samples was digested with the restriction enzyme HinfI and RFLP analysis performed using the single locus probes MS1, MS31, MS43a and YNH24. The intergel variation of 3291 duplicate measurements of fragment lengths in terms of basepairs was investigated. The difference between two measurements of the same fragment on different gels increased approximately exponentially with increasing fragment length. After transformation of the fragment length into a normalized migration distance it was found that the difference between two transformed measurements was normally distributed with a S.D. (0.70 mm) which was independent of the fragment length. The errors of band 1 and band 2 on the same lane were correlated (r2 = 0.8). It is useful in the calculation of frequencies and in retrieval procedures and also in the calculation of likelihood ratios to be able to use a S.D. which is independent of the fragment length.

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