Battele Inc’s research leader used to run the FBI DNA nuclear DNA unit. Now his company is coming into the big game of identifying human physical traits from genomic DNA “markers” (ie.e alleles) not used in current criminal science systems.
Having received a $880K grant from the NIJ, this company announces that the US military’s forensic center (ex CID crime lab) has signed on to purchase their EactID methods.
Now thats a name worth copyrighting. “exact’ is gold in the forensic business. They do have decades of legitimate DNA progression to rely upon. This is not unlike medical researchers searching the entire human genome for disease creating genetic sequences.
“ExactID provides the information needed to determine specific, identifying traits — such as hair and eye color, race, who a person may be related to, where they may live — from an unmatched DNA sample. This has not been possible before.”
Thus the company has entered the “personal genetic trait” business much like labs connected with Ancestry.com, deCODEme, and Family Tree DNA.
Battele is urging other law enforcement to join up. But I’m curious about implementation as their pr blog says this “As use and reliance on the data produced by ExactID increases, Battelle experts expect other law enforcement agencies to adopt it in their investigations.”
It appears that the US Army will be a “proving ground” for this company’s product. That means the rules of evidence regarding this product’s accuracy rate, error rate, etc., will be reviewed by the military UCMJ rules and a very limited case history on admitting expert testimony. Seems problematic to me regarding “next generation” DNA sequencing (Battele’s phraseology) as the military courts are weak on “new science” the admissibility front.