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NCJ Number: 220418 Find in a Library
Title: Implication of Population Structure in the Resolution of Cattle Stealing Cases
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:52  Issue:5  Dated:September 2007  Pages:1077-1081
Author(s): Juan P. Liron Ph.D.; Maria V. Ripoli Ph.D.; Pilar Peral-Garcia Ph.D.; Guillermo Giovambattista Ph.D.
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In order to assess the magnitude of the subpopulation effect on the estimation of DNA match probabilities in cattle-stealing cases, this study calculated and compared the DNA match probabilities obtained from cattle-breed databases, using both actual adjudicated cases from the Buenos Aires Province (Argentina) and simulated data.
Abstract: The findings show that cattle exhibit significant levels of population subdivision. Subpopulation error is larger for strongly subdivided populations than for more homogenous ones. Balding and Nichols' correction, which was applied as if the population was divided into an unknown number of subpopulations, favored the defense by making a DNA match less likely or more error-prone. On the other hand, DNA match probabilities calculated with the simpler product estimator produced results more favorable to the prosecution in increasing the likelihood of a match. The authors suggest the use of an alternative procedure that involves the calculation of a match probability based on a breed's database and the selection of the higher value. Although this method is more complex than the others and requires the knowledge of local cattle populations' allele frequencies, it is an intermediate and more accurate estimation of a match probability. Still, the choice of the populations with the higher value of match probability was slightly more conservative, which favors the defense. The samples included in this study consisted of 15 cow thefts in which DNA profiling was used as evidence to show that the cattle alleged to have been stolen came from the specific stock of the alleged victim. In these cases, the remains of the slaughtered stolen animals were left by the thieves on the owner's farm. Several samples of the remains were preserved for use as reference material for DNA comparisons with the evidence collected from the butchery. 1 table, 1 figure, and 43 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Agricultural crime; Argentina; DNA fingerprinting; Farm-related thefts; Foreign criminal justice research; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques
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