Validation issues around DNA typing of low level DNA

Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2009 Sep;3(4):255-60. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2009.04.003. Epub 2009 May 2.


A recent ruling in the Crown Court of Northern Ireland, R v. Hoey, [R v Sean Hoey. 2007, Crown Court of Northern Ireland] has raised questions about the validity of one variant of DNA analysis, often termed LCN. The ruling and subsequent discussion also raises questions about what constitutes validation of a technique. This paper examines what can be achieved in a laboratory based validation study against the Daubert standard and against guidance given in the UK. There is a significant discrepancy between what can be achieved and the Daubert standard but much less of a discrepancy against the UK guidance. Much of the difference relates to differences in word usage, definitional difficulties, and a lack of mutual understanding and communication between the judiciary and forensic scientists. This highlights a gap that needs attention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA Fingerprinting / methods*
  • Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Forensic Medicine / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reproducibility of Results*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA