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Apr
2004

There is increasing evidence that many of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) databases published in the fields of forensic science and molecular anthropology are flawed. An a posteriori phylogenetic analysis of the sequences could help to eliminate most of the errors and thus greatly improve data quality. However, previously published caveats and recommendations along these lines were not yet picked up by all researchers.
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May
2006

We have analyzed variation of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hypervariable segments I and II (HVS-I and HVS-II) in 185 randomly chosen individuals from Korea to provide an expanded and reliable Korean database. Combined sequence comparison of HVS-I and HVS-II led to the identification of 167 different haplotypes characterized by 154 variable sites. One hundred and fifty-one of the haplotypes were individual-specific, 14 were found in two individuals and 2 were found in three individuals.

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Oct
2004

Artificial recombination of two or more mitochondrial DNA fragments from different samples would constitute a serious cause of error in forensic DNA typing, and yet one can demonstrate that such events have happened in the preparation of several published mtDNA databases. Focussed database searches, phylogenetic analysis, and network representations can highlight mosaic patterns and thus pinpoint sample mix-up. Therefore, we suggest that this approach should be applied to data prior to publication in order to uncover such errors in time.

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Oct
2004

Large forensic mtDNA databases which adhere to strict guidelines for generation and maintenance, are not available for many populations outside of the United States and western Europe. We have established a high quality mtDNA control region sequence database for urban Nairobi as both a reference database for forensic investigations, and as a tool to examine the genetic variation of Kenyan sequences in the context of known African variation. The Nairobi sequences exhibited high variation and a low random match probability, indicating utility for forensic testing.

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Mar
2007

Mitochondrial DNA analysis has become a vital niche in forensic science as it constitutes a powerful technique for low quality and low quantity DNA samples. For the forensic field it is important to employ standardized procedures based on scientific grounds, in order to have mtDNA evidence be accepted in court. Here, we modify and extend recommendations that were spelled out previously in the absence of solid knowledge about the worldwide phylogeny.

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