The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science recently launched changes to its structure and processes to speed the drafting and review of high-quality, technically sound forensic science standards.
Among OSAC’s structural changes, the former Biological Methods Subcommittee and Biological Data Interpretation & Reporting Subcommittee have been combined into the Human Forensic Biology Subcommittee. This group will draft standards focusing on human DNA analysis methods as well as serological techniques. The Human Forensic Biology Subcommittee, along with the Wildlife Forensic Biology Subcommittee, make up the two subcommittees in OSAC’s Biology Scientific Area Committee (SAC).
The OSAC Registry approval process has also been changed to make it more efficient, require the technical review and the public comment period to happen earlier, and allow both published and OSAC proposed standards to be placed on the Registry. The OSAC Registry currently contains five DNA-related standards. These standards, initially drafted by OSAC’s Human Forensic Biology and Wildlife Forensic Biology subcommittees, then further developed and published by the Academy Standards Board (ASB) include:
- ANSI/ASB Standard 020, Standard for Validation Studies of DNA Mixtures, and Development and Verification of a Laboratory’s Mixture Interpretation Protocol, First Edition, 2018.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 022, Standard for Forensic DNA Analysis Training Programs, First Edition, 2019.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 028, Wildlife Forensics Morphology Standards, First Edition, 2019.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 040, Standard for Forensic DNA Interpretation and Comparison Protocols, First Edition, 2019.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 047, Wildlife Forensics Validation Standard – Validating New Primers for Sequencing, First Edition, 2019.
In addition to the Registry standards, OSAC’s Human Forensic Biology Subcommittee drafted several other standards that have been published by ASB. These documents will be moving through the OSAC Registry approval process and include:
- ANSI/ASB Standard 018, Standard for Validation of Probabilistic Genotyping Systems, First Edition, 2020.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 023, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Isolation and Purification Methods, First Edition, 2020.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 038, Standard for Internal Validation of Forensic DNA Analysis Methods, First Edition, 2020.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 077, Standard for the Developmental and Internal Validation of Forensic Serological Methods, First Edition, 2020.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 110, Standards for Training in Forensic Serological Methods, First Edition, 2020.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 115, Standard for Training in Forensic Short Tandem Repeat Typing Methods Using Amplification, DNA Separation, and Allele Detection, First Edition, 2020.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 116, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Quantification Methods, First Edition, 2020.
OSAC’s Wildlife Forensics Subcommittee also have the following ASB published standards in the OSAC Registry approval process:
- ANSI/ASB Standard 019, Wildlife Forensics General Standards, First Edition, 2019.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 029, Report Writing in Wildlife Forensics: Morphology and Genetics, First Edition, 2019.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 046, Wildlife Forensics Validation Standards – STR Analysis, First Edition, 2019.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 048, Wildlife Forensic DNA Standard Procedures, First Edition, 2019.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 106, Wildlife Forensics – Protein Serology Method for Taxonomic Identification, First Edition, 2020.
- ANSI/ASB Standard 111, Standard for Training in Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Analysis for Taxonomic Identification, First Edition, 2020.
The Human Forensic Biology Subcommittee is currently drafting standards or best practice documents related to familial searching, elimination databases, statistical analysis, determination of thresholds, interpreting data with contamination and failed controls, testimony regarding DNA activity level propositions as well as next generation sequencing/massively parallel sequencing. Additionally, the Wildlife Forensics Subcommittee is working on items addressing a variety of topics including statistical and in-house databases, building new panels for species identification, curation of reference samples, as well as geographic assignment.
For a monthly update on the forensic science standards moving through the OSAC Registry approval process and standards development process at SDOs, check out the OSAC Standards Bulletin.