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Tip of the Month – April 2012

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 11:33 AM
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When a paternity index is calculated, one of the factors used in the computation is the allele frequency for the tested individual’s race.  An allele frequency indicates how often a particular allele is present in a given population and can vary between races.  For example, if the alleged father’s paternal allele (the allele in the father which matches the child) at the marker D8S1179 is a 16, and the alleged father is African American, then we would need to determine how often in the African American population the allele 16 occurs.  For African Americans, the allele frequency is 4%, meaning 4% of the African American population has an allele 16 at the genetic marker D8S1179.  Caucasian’s have an allele frequency of 1%, meaning 1% of the Caucasian population has a 16 allele at D8S1179.  Hispanic’s have an allele frequency of 2%, meaning 2% of the Hispanic population has a 16 allele at D8S1179.   It is important to document the race of the individuals tested because the race determines which allele frequency we will use in our statistical calculations of the paternity index.

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