Novel Applications of Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS) in Forensic Analysis

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November 2018

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This special issue of Electrophoresis is devoted to Novel Applications of Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS) in forensic analysis, with a focus on the development, evaluation, and implementation of MPS technology. Massively parallel sequencing is a disruptive technology that has resulted in revolutionary new tools that greatly expand our capability to identify suspects based on cellular DNA left at crime scenes.Included in this issue are original research papers and reviews on short tandem repeat sequencing, applications of sequencing in paternity testing, and detection of degraded DNA. Additional topics include the development of applications utilizing single nucleotide polymorphisms for identity, ancestry and phenotyping applications in both autosomal and mitochondrial DNA. Lastly we include papers on related techniques such as epigenetic methods, applications of microhaplotypes in human identification, and a procedure for bacterial DNA quantification prior to microbiome sequencing. It is exhilarating to see the rapid progress in the development of applications for MPS in forensic genomics, particularly as we still remember the origins of this field that began with the use of agarose electrophoretic gels and silver staining only 25 years ago.This new issue consists of 20 contributed research papers on forensic analysis divided into five general subtopics:1. Reviews and Applications of STR Technologies Using Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS)2. Regional and Global Population Sequence Variation of STRS3. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms for Identity, Ancestry and Phenotyping4. Mitochondrial DNA Applications5. Future Directions in Massively Parallel Sequencing