Document Detail

Comments on the statistical aspects of the NRC's report on DNA typing.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8113709     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The goal of the NRC report on DNA typing was to answer a "crescendo of questions concerning DNA typing," many of them in the areas of population genetics and statistics. Unfortunately, few of these questions were answered adequately. In lieu of answering these questions, the panel proposed another conservative method of forensic inference, the "ceiling principle." Aside from its extreme conservativeness, this new method is difficult to justify because it is based on inadequate population genetics and statistical theory. Moreover, in its ultimate implementation, the panel's method will depend on a population genetics study whose rationale is questionable. In this article, we elaborate some of the general comments we made about the NRC report in a recent article [1]. Specifically we cover three topics. First we question the statistical basis for the ceiling principle, showing that the empirical results that motivated the method are likely to be misinterpreted and showing, by power calculations, that the effects of population substructure cannot be substantial. Second, we show that the study design to determine "ceiling" allele frequencies has several undesirable statistical properties. Finally, we discuss the estimation of handling errors from the statistical perspective, a subject treated inadequately by the report.
B Devlin; N Risch; K Roeder
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic sciences     Volume:  39     ISSN:  0022-1198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Forensic Sci.     Publication Date:  1994 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-03-30     Completed Date:  1994-03-30     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375370     Medline TA:  J Forensic Sci     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  28-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine.
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MeSH Terms
DNA Fingerprinting / statistics & numerical data*
Ethnic Groups / genetics
Genetics, Population
Models, Statistical
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
Reference Values
United States
Grant Support

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