(Project title: Software-based Expert System for Report Generation in Forensic DNA Examinations)
To speed up forensic DNA analysis, expert software eDNA is developed at the Forensic Science Institute of Berlin Police in close collaboration with European partner institutes. The grant for the two year project has been awarded under the Programme “Prevention of and Fight against Crime” (ISEC) of the European Union.
DNA analysis has become an important tool to solve crime cases. In recent years, limited resources and growing demands for DNA analysis observed in Europe and overseas have led to severe backlogs in forensic DNA casework.
The aim of the eDNA project is the development of a software solution to substitute the slow and laborious manual workflow for interpreting forensic. eDNA serves as a powerful analysis tool supporting forensic DNA experts in their everyday casework.
eDNA provides intelligent visual support for the evaluation of DNA profiles from stains secured e.g. at crime scenes; automated comparison of DNA profiles, e.g. to reference DNA profiles originating from suspects or victims; and semi-automated forensic report generation.
DNA experts are able to understand relevant facts of a criminal case much faster. Furthermore, automation of profile comparison and forensic reporting, summarizing the results of an examination, saves valuable working time. Taken together, eDNA leads to a more efficient data analysis and a higher throughput.
Features of eDNA in detail
- Intuitive graphical user interface (GUI)
- Incorporation of stain and reference DNA profiles related to a case or a batch into projects
- Combination of replicate measurements to assess reproducibility
- Support for different multiplex marker systems (e.g. STR and Y-STR kits)
- Classification of DNA profiles according to completeness of marker systems, number of potential contributors, evaluation of usability for national DB entry
- Comparison and matching of DNA profiles for the identification of known and unknown individuals in single-source and mixed-source stain profiles
- (Semi-)Automated report generation
- Fast and easy data import and export routines
- Covering standard input formats (e.g. GeneMapper®)
- Customizable output formats
- Interfaces to LIMS and other external software (e.g. statistic tools)
- Support for different languages and country/regional specifications
eDNA is a Java-based client-server-application. The JSF-based graphical user interface is easily accessible using a standard web browser on the client-side, while computationally expensive calculations are performed on a powerful central server within a forensic institute.
The eDNA software has been developed in close cooperation with project partners from five forensic institutes and three universities from different European countries, i.e. Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Austria. Their expertise and broad experience in forensic casework ensure that diverse country-specific requirements and interests are addressed during the development.
The eDNA software is currently disseminated throughout Europe. The software is freely available to forensic institutes of all member states of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI). Please contact us for details.