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Questions Posed During the LCN Session at the 20th International Symposium on Human Identification

Publication Date: 2010
  1. How do you define or use the term “LCN” (in other words, what does LCN mean to you?) What terminology do you recommend to describe samples with small amounts of amplifiable DNA and the various testing processes used to amplify or process them to achieve interpretable profiles?
  2. Has PCR testing of samples with small amounts of DNA been appropriately validated and accepted in nonforensic areas of DNA testing (i.e., has the first prong of general acceptance in Frye/Daubert been met)?
  3. What do you see as the biggest scientific issue/challenge/limitation with “LCN” testing in forensic cases, and how do you think it should be addressed by the scientific and legal communities (with LCN meaning low amounts of DNA and/or techniques for increasing sensitivity)?
  4. Can single-source DNA samples with low amounts of DNA be interpreted accurately after PCR amplification? What statistical calculations do you recommend for use with samples for which an individual cannot be excluded as a source?
  5. What advice do you have to offer to forensic scientists working with attorneys on cases that may be considered “LCN” by some definition? What materials should be routinely provided in discovery when DNA testing is challenged?
  6. Is it better to consume a sample with a single amplification to increase the possibility of obtaining a few more alleles and the possibility of a more complete profile or perform duplicate/triplicate amplifications with repetition of data?
  7. Where do we go next with LCN testing? What is the best way forward for the forensic community with LCN testing?

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