New Standards Designed to Assist Laboratories Maintain Excellence

Ann MacPhetridge, Promega

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Promega was pleased to recently co-host a series of webinars that provided information on new and emerging standards along with best practice recommendations applicable to forensic biology and DNA testing laboratories. These documents include new requirements for training and validation in serology and various aspects of DNA testing, as well as DNA data interpretation and software, and protocol development and verification.

In case you weren’t able to attend any part of the series, Promega has each webinar available to view on demand at While you are there, be sure to view and download the numerous resources made available through the platform by each speaker. For instance, you can download copies of the individual presentations, as well as copies of the standards the presenters discussed for a more thorough review on your own. Additionally, you will find links to several organizations such as the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Academy Standards Board (ASB).

The first webinar in this series described the complete process for standards development within the OSAC for Forensic Science and ASB. John Paul Jones, Robyn Ragsdale and Teresa Ambrosius shared details on how these documents were conceived, written and then developed into published standards as well as an overview on how documents will be revised and maintained in the future.

In the second part of the series, the presenters discussed two published standards that pertain to the interpretation and comparison of DNA profiles, with an emphasis on DNA mixture interpretation. Charlotte Word provided details on two standards, ANSI/ASB Standard 020, Standard for Validation Studies of DNA Mixtures, and Development and Verification of a Laboratory's Mixture Interpretation Protocol and ANSI/ASB Standard 040, Standard for Forensic DNA Interpretation and Comparison Protocols, highlighting what these standards will mean for forensic laboratories and their workflows. Joanna Johnson shared insights into how the Indiana State Police Laboratory system implemented these two standards, including key learnings and challenges.

In the last part of the series, the presentation by Kim Murga and Beth Ordeman focused on standards written to address various areas of training in serology and DNA testing, such as ANSI/ASB Standard 022, Standard for Forensic DNA Analysis Training Programs and subsequent training standards that derive their structure and overall requirements from ANSI/ASB Standard 022.

This series is just one example of the educational webinars that Promega has hosted. We have covered topics such as:

  • Preparing for Expert Witness Testimony
  • How to Use the YHRD Database
  • Strategies for Addressing Cold Cases

Our hope is that forensic scientists find these webinars to be relevant and beneficial to their daily work, by providing information on advanced forensic DNA topics, tips and techniques for your lab, or an engaging way to find out more about new technologies and products

Have an idea for a webinar topic? Interested in presenting on the work that you’re doing? Reach out to me at In the meantime, happy viewing!

Watch the webinar series on demand and register for future webinars.