DNA Commission

The DNA Commission was brought to life in 1987 due to the rapid progress in the development of DNA polymorphisms, and has published its first recommendation in 1989 (Forensic Sci. Int. 43, 109-111). The role of the commission was described in the introduction of this first publication as follows:
"­ to discuss these exciting developments in relation to their use in the medico-legal context and (to make) recommendations ­"
The DNA Commission is usually represented by the Executive Committee of the ISFG as well as number of experts, who are called into the commission depending on the subject of discussion. The commission has a chairman who is appointed by the Executive Committee, and who is responsible for chairing the meetings, and drafting the recommendations.

The DNA commission is chaired by

Professor Peter Gill
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
peterd.gill@gmail.com Oslo
The recommendations of the DNA Commission have all been published in scientific journals.

Recently completed

A DNA commission, led by Walther Parson recently reported on: “Massively Parallel Sequencing of forensic STRs: Considerations of the DNA Commission of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) on minimal nomenclature requirements,” Forensic Science International: Genetics, Vol. 22, p54–63.
This commission was convened because of the considerable interest and developments in massively parallel sequencing (MPS) which over the coming years will provide the ‘next generation’ platforms. There are a number of different options relating to nomenclature: “there is a pressing need to produce a standardized framework for describing complex sequences that enable comparison with currently used repeat allele nomenclature derived from conventional CE systems.” This paper is doubtless the first of several that will be required to fully address the nomenclature issue, hence this can be regarded as ‘work in progress’.

In progress

The ISFG DNA Commission has a number of ongoing projects which are led as follows:
1) Mike Coble: DNA Commission of the International Society for Forensic Genetics: Recommendations on the validation of software programs performing biostatistical calculations for Forensic Genetics Applications
The purpose of this commission is to provide recommendations for the use of software (both commercial and open-source) so that laboratories have clear guidance on what to expect from the provider of the software. In addition the responsibilities of the laboratory to implement software are outlined. The commission is intended for all software use, including those for complex mixture analysis. This commission will report shortly.
2) Peter Gill: Evaluation of evidence (beyond the DNA profile).
There is considerable interest in statistical reporting of the ‘meaning’ of the DNA profile with respect to ‘how’, ‘why’ or ‘when’ did it become evidence. This question is particularly relevant to low level DNA where there is considerable ambiguity about the origin of the DNA sample and its association (if any) with a body fluid. Bayes nets are used as an example of how to report DNA profiles. The commission will examine the ‘state of the science’ to date and provide recommendations on a way forward, along with describing remaining challenges and the likely limitations that exist. It is at an early stage of discussion and this report will probably appear during 2017.

Future commissions

The ISFG Board would like to encourage any suggestions for future commissions from the membership. The aim is to ensure methods and techniques are able to move from research to the operational environment. The DNA Commission documents provide standardized guidance for this to occur.

OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE: In October 2009, the DNA Commission started an initiative to develop biostatistical freeware for mixture interpretation. Please visit our new software development site and participate in our projects!

Last modified 9 months and 16 days ago by Dr. John M. Butler