Boundaries of the field of expertise DNA

Core activities

DNA Source Level

DNA Source Level experts seek to help the court answer the question: From whom does the biological trace originate? In other words, who is the donor of the autosomal DNA? The expert compares and interprets single source, complex and mixed DNA profiles, created with standard techniques or with low template techniques, obtained from biological samples.

DNA Source Level Extende

This sub-field contains the same basic requirements as the above-mentioned Source Level. Additionally, an expert will be assessed on the following tasks that focus, among others, on the nature of the biological samples.

  • Y-Chromosomal DNA analysis
  • Examination Strategy
  • Cell Typing

Kinship Analysis

Experts in DNA Kinship Analysis contribute to answering questions addressing the potential biological relationship between individuals, living or deceased, by comparing and interpreting single source, complex and mixed DNA profile. Applications include among others familial searches in DNA databases and population screenings. As such, kinship analysis contributes to answering the question who the source of questioned (trace) materials is. Experts in this sub-field have been assessed, among others, on tasks like Y-Chromosomal and Mitochondrial DNA analysis.

DNA Activity Level

The Activity Level analysis experts seek to help the court answer the question: How or when was the biological material deposited? Activity Level analysis involves the provision of a numerical and/or verbal strength of support for the probability of the evidence given the truth of two competing propositions formulated at the activity level.

Boundaries of the field of expertise

There are specific areas of forensic genetics that fall outside the scope of the field ‘Human DNA Analysis and Interpretation’ as registered by the NRGD.

Ancestry

Specific question: Determine the geographical origin of the unknown cell donor by means of STR or SNP DNA analysis of the trace evidence.

Externally Visible Characteristics

Specific question: Determine externally visible characteristics (e.g. hair colour, eye colour, skin tone, etc.) of the unknown cell donor by means of DNA analysis of the trace evidence.

Searches in public DNA databases (genealogy)

Specific question: Find individuals possibly related to the donor of the questioned biological material though genealogical analyses in public DNA databases (e.g. Gedmatch or others).

Proteome, metabolome and microbiome analyses

These techniques are applied in the field of forensic genetics to address questions on cell type, as well as to generate ‘intelligence’ on habits or characteristics of individuals.