I am professor of forensic genetics in the Centre for Forensic Science. With a background in biochemical engineering (PhD, University of Sydney) and education (Diploma of Education, Western Sydney University), I applied my skills to forensic science in the forensic laboratories of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2003. Since then, I have held academic positions at the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and now at the University of Technology Sydney.
I am a member of:
- International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG)
- Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS)
- Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
- Biometrics Institute
Can supervise: YES
My research and teaching focusses on forensic genetics, or the use of genetics for law enforcement. This includes DNA extraction and preservation, new and emerging DNA sequencing technologies and the use of genotypes for identity and phenotype prediction. Biogeographical ancestry (BGA) is particularly useful forensic intelligence that can be gained from DNA and my research is aimed at increasing the accuracy of prediction and understanding the legal, policy and privacy frameworks.
I teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses in:
- forensic genetics
- biological criminalisics
Bowman, S, Casares-de-Cal, MÁ, Alvarez-Dios, J, Gomez Tato, A, Roffey, P, Richardson, A, McNevin, D & Gahan, ME 2020, 'Identification of Bacillus and Yersinia species and hoax agents by protein profiling using microfluidic capillary electrophoresis with peak detection algorithms', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis are biological agents that pose an increasing concern to national security if deliberately disseminated. Hoax agents, including suspicious white powders and environmental bacterial species, can also cause disruption. In either scenario it is of high importance to rapidly and accurately identify any suspicious powder as hazardous or hoax. Protein profiling, using microfluidic capillary electrophoresis, provides a rapid (less than 40 minutes), reliable and field-based screening method. Two commonly encountered hoax agents, three Bacillus species (including B. anthracis Sterne strain), two Yersinia species and E. coli were profiled on the Experion™ System (Bio-Rad). Peak detection algorithms were developed for the identification of protein peaks in electropherograms. Boolean logic paths were then employed to predict the electrophoretic pattern of samples. Parameters assessed included variation within and between Experion™ Pro260 chips and the ability to discriminate between samples over time intervals, between operators and between field and laboratory analyses. Classification with optimal Boolean logic paths reported no misclassification with an accuracy of 100% for B. anthracis Sterne strain, B. thuringiensis (powder and culture-based), B. cereus and plain wheat flour. Overall there was 75% correct identification for the eight sample types tested.
Prasad, E, Barash, M, Hitchcock, C, van Oorschot, RAH, Raymond, J, McNevin, D & Gunn, P 2020, 'Evaluation of soaking to recover trace DNA from fired cartridge cases', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Avent, I, Kinnane, AG, Jones, N, Petermann, I, Daniel, R, Gahan, ME & McNevin, D 2019, 'The QIAGEN 140-locus single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel for forensic identification using massively parallel sequencing (MPS): an evaluation and a direct-to-PCR trial.', International journal of legal medicine, vol. 133, no. 3, pp. 677-688.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) of identity informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms (IISNPs) enables hundreds of forensically relevant markers to be analysed simultaneously. Generating DNA sequence data enables more detailed analysis including identification of sequence variations between individuals. The GeneRead DNAseq 140 IISNP MPS panel (QIAGEN) has been evaluated on both the MiSeq (Illumina) and Ion PGM™ (Applied Biosystems) MPS platforms using the GeneRead DNAseq Targeted Panels V2 library preparation workflow (QIAGEN). The aims of this study were to (1) determine if the GeneRead DNAseq panel is effective for identity testing by assessing deviation from Hardy-Weinberg (HWE) and pairwise linkage equilibrium (LE); (2) sequence samples with the GeneRead DNAseq panel on the Ion PGM™ using the QIAGEN workflow and assess specificity, sensitivity and accuracy; (3) assess the efficacy of adding biological samples directly to the GeneRead DNAseq PCR, without prior DNA extraction; and (4) assess the effect of varying coverage and allele frequency thresholds on genotype concordance. Analyses of the 140 SNPs for HWE and LE using Fisher's exact tests and the sequential Bonferroni correction revealed that one SNP was out of HWE in the Japanese population and five SNP combinations were commonly out of LE in 13 of 14 populations. The panel was sensitive down to 0.3125 ng of DNA input. A direct-to-PCR approach (without DNA extraction) produced highly concordant genotypes. The setting of appropriate allele frequency thresholds is more effective for reducing erroneous genotypes than coverage thresholds.
Bowman, S, McNevin, D, Venables, SJ, Roffey, P, Richardson, A & Gahan, ME 2019, 'Species identification using high resolution melting (HRM) analysis with random forest classification', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 57-72.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences Species identification is an important facet of forensic investigation. In this study, human and non-human species (cow, chicken, pig, sheep, cat, dog, rabbit, fox, kangaroo and wombat) were assayed on the ViiA 7 Real-Time PCR System (Thermo Fisher Scientific) to rapidly screen for their species of origin using the high resolution melt (HRM) analysis targeting the 16S rRNA gene. Classification of HRM difference profiles using the onboard ViiA 7 software resulted in a classification accuracy of < 20%. Derivative profiles (temperature versus negative first derivative of fluorescence, –dF/dT) were classified using random forest algorithms supplemented by bagging and boosting, with either a randomly partitioned test set or a variety of folds of cross-classification, in addition to a range of trees and variables. Random forest classification with bagging conditions (constructed over 500 trees) was found to considerably outperform the ViiA 7 software for species differentiation with 100% classification accuracy for biological material from humans, domestic pets (cat and dog) and consumable meats (chicken and sheep) with an average classification accuracy of 70% across all species.
Cheung, EYY, Phillips, C, Eduardoff, M, Lareu, MV & McNevin, D 2019, 'Performance of ancestry-informative SNP and microhaplotype markers.', Forensic science international. Genetics, vol. 43.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The use of microhaplotypes (MHs) for ancestry inference has added to an increasing number of ancestry-informative markers (AIMs) for forensic application that includes autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions/deletions (indels). This study compares bi-allelic and tri-allelic SNPs as well as MH markers for their ability to differentiate African, European, South Asian, East Asian, and American population groups from the 1000 Genomes Phase 3 database. A range of well-established metrics were applied to rank each marker according to the population differentiation potential they measured. These comprised: absolute allele frequency differences (δ); Rosenberg's informativeness for (ancestry) assignment (In); the fixation index (FST); and the effective number of alleles (Ae). A panel consisting of all three marker types resulted in the lowest mean divergence per population per individual (MDPI = 2.16%) when selected by In. However, when marker types were not mixed, MHs were the highest performing markers by most metrics (MDPI < 4%) for differentiation between the five continental populations.
Gahan, ME, Bowman, S, Chevalier, R, Rossi, R, Nelson, M, Roffey, P, Xu, B, Power, D & McNevin, D 2019, 'Bacillus species at the Canberra Airport: A comparison of real-time polymerase chain reaction and massively parallel sequencing for identification.', Forensic science international, vol. 295, pp. 169-178.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Anthrax, caused by the Gram-positive, spore forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a disease with naturally occurring outbreaks in many parts of the world, primarily in domestic and wild herbivores. Due to the movement of people and stock, B. anthracis could, however, be at transportation hubs including airports. The continuous threat to national and international security from a biological agent release, or hoax attack, is a very real concern. Sensitive, robust and rapid (hours-day) methods to identify biological agents, including B. anthracis, and distinguish pathogenic from non-pathogenic species, is an essential cornerstone to national security. The aim of this project was to determine the presence of Bacillus species at the Canberra Airport using two massively parallel sequencing (MPS) approaches and compare with previous results using real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Samples were collected daily for seven days each month from August 2011-July 2012 targeting movement of people, luggage and freight into and out of the Canberra Airport. Extracted DNA was analysed using qPCR specific for B. anthracis. A subset of samples was analysed using two MPS approaches. Approach one, using the Ion PGM™ (Thermo Fisher Scientific; TFS) and an in-house assay, targeted the two B. anthracis virulence plasmids (cya and capB genes) and a single conserved region of the 16S rRNA gene. Approach two, using the Ion S5™ (TFS) and the commercial Ion 16S™ Metagenomics Kit (TFS), targeted multiple regions within the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Overall there was consistency between the two MPS approaches and between MPS and qPCR, however, MPS was more sensitive, particularly for plasmid detection. Whilst the broad-range 16S genomic target(s) used in both MPS approaches in this study was able to generate a metagenomic fingerprint of the bacterial community at the Canberra Airport, it could not resolve Bacillus species beyond the level of the Bacillus cereus group. The inclusion o...
McNevin, D 2019, 'Response to: Biedermann & Hicks (2019), Commentary on "Dennis McNevin, Bayesian interpretation of discrete class characteristics, Forensic Science International, 292 (2018) 125-130".', Forensic science international, vol. 298, pp. e1-e2.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Phillips, C, McNevin, D, Kidd, KK, Lagacé, R, Wootton, S, de la Puente, M, Freire-Aradas, A, Mosquera-Miguel, A, Eduardoff, M, Gross, T, Dagostino, L, Power, D, Olson, S, Hashiyada, M, Oz, C, Parson, W, Schneider, PM, Lareu, MV & Daniel, R 2019, 'MAPlex - A massively parallel sequencing ancestry analysis multiplex for Asia-Pacific populations.', Forensic science international. Genetics, vol. 42, pp. 213-226.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Current forensic ancestry-informative panels are limited in their ability to differentiate populations in the Asia-Pacific region. MAPlex (Multiplex for the Asia-Pacific), a massively parallel sequencing (MPS) assay, was developed to improve differentiation of East Asian, South Asian and Near Oceanian populations found in the extensive cross-continental Asian region that shows complex patterns of admixture at its margins. This study reports the development of MAPlex; the selection of SNPs in combination with microhaplotype markers; assay design considerations for reducing the lengths of microhaplotypes while preserving their ancestry-informativeness; adoption of new population-informative multiple-allele SNPs; compilation of South Asian-informative SNPs suitable for forensic AIMs panels; and the compilation of extensive reference and test population genotypes from online whole-genome-sequence data for MAPlex markers. STRUCTURE genetic clustering software was used to gauge the ability of MAPlex to differentiate a broad set of populations from South and East Asia, the West Pacific regions of Near Oceania, as well as the other globally distributed population groups. Preliminary assessment of MAPlex indicates enhanced South Asian differentiation with increased divergence between West Eurasian, South Asian and East Asian populations, compared to previous forensic SNP panels of comparable scale. In addition, MAPlex shows efficient differentiation of Middle Eastern individuals from Europeans. MAPlex is the first forensic AIM assay to combine binary and multiple-allele SNPs with microhaplotypes, adding the potential to detect and analyze mixed source forensic DNA.
Scudder, N, McNevin, D, Kelty, SF, Funk, C, Walsh, SJ & Robertson, J 2019, 'Policy and regulatory implications of the new frontier of forensic genomics: direct-to-consumer genetic data and genealogy records', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 194-216.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Scudder, N, Robertson, J, Kelty, SF, Walsh, SJ & McNevin, D 2019, 'A law enforcement intelligence framework for use in predictive DNA phenotyping', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol. 51, pp. S255-S258.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Scudder, N, Robertson, J, Kelty, SF, Walsh, SJ & McNevin, D 2019, 'An international consideration of a standards-based approach to forensic genetic genealogy', Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 512-514.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Forensic genetic genealogy has moved into limited operational use in the United States, and received international attention following the arrest of a suspect alleged to be the notorious 'Golden State Killer'. The interest in this emerging area has seen the development of online courses to train investigators to pursue forensic genetic genealogy leads and the emergence of service providers marketing directly to law enforcement. Forensic genetic genealogy is an intelligence capability and can draw on existing intelligence doctrine. The power of genetic genealogy requires consideration of relevant standards, national or international. The development of these standards requires close consideration of public trust and privacy issues, including the application of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and constitutional issues in countries such as the United States. It also requires a consideration of potential regulatory mechanisms and options.
Scudder, N, Robertson, J, Kelty, SF, Walsh, SJ & McNevin, D 2019, 'Crowdsourced and crowdfunded: the future of forensic DNA?', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, pp. 1-7.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Forensic DNA analysis is dependent on comparing the known and the unknown. Expand the number of known profiles, and the likelihood of a successful match increases. Forensic use of DNA is moving towards comparing samples of unknown origin with publicly available genetic data, such as the records held by genetic genealogy providers. Use of forensic genetic genealogy has yielded a number of recent high-profile successes but has raised ethical and privacy concerns. Navigating family trees is complex, even more so when combined with a comparison of genetic relationships. This intelligence-gathering process has led to occasional false leads, and its use also risks a public backlash, similar to concerns over Cambridge Analytica. A cautious approach to use of this technique is therefore warranted.
Watherston, J, Bruce, D, Ward, J, Gahan, ME & McNevin, D 2019, 'Automating direct-to-PCR for disaster victim identification', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 51, no. S1, pp. S39-S43.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. Direct-to-PCR methodology adds samples directly to PCR tubes offering gains in efficiency and sensitivity. The approach has been applied to a variety of biological sources including blood, saliva, tissue, hair and nail. We added various preservative solutions to a range of biological samples to leech DNA into solution, whilst preserving at room temperature. Tubes containing 'free DNA' then followed automated workflows for amplification and capillary electrophoresis. Routine FASS-automated workflows (including DNA extraction and quantification) were compared with published direct-to-PCR methodology and automated amplification of an aliquot of preservative solution. Applying preservative solutions to ~30-year-old blood stains stored at room temperature resulted in recovery of a larger quantity of DNA and more alleles (using PowerPlex 21) when compared with routine automated typing. Trials were extended to blood, saliva, hair and nail, mimicking ante-mortem samples collected in a disaster victim identification effort. Despite slightly lower allelic recovery, the faster processing times, lower costs and storage potential offers advantages for the processing of ante-mortem samples.
Xing, J, Adnan, A, Rakha, A, Kasim, K, Noor, A, Xuan, J, Zhang, X, Yao, J, McNevin, D & Wang, B 2019, 'Genetic analysis of 12 X-STRs for forensic purposes in Liaoning Manchu population from China.', Gene, vol. 683, pp. 153-158.View/Download from: Publisher's site
X-chromosomal short tandem repeats (X-STRs) have been widely used in forensic practice involving complicated cases of kinship and also play an increasingly important role in population genetics. X-STRs have been studied in regional populations of China but there is a lack of data for the Manchu population. In this study, we have investigated the forensic genetic properties of 12 X-STRs in the Investigator Argus X-12 Kit (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany) in 772 Manchu (male = 514, female = 258) individuals from the Xiuyan and Huanren Manchu autonomous counties of Liaoning province. We observed a total of 166 alleles at 12 X-STR loci with allele frequencies ranging from 0.001295to 0.615285. The most polymorphic locus was DXS10135 with 24 alleles while DXS7423 was the least polymorphic locus with 5 alleles. We found significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) between the following pairs of markers for males: DXS10103/DXS10101, DXS10135/DXS10146, DXS10101/DXS10148, DXS10135/DXS10148, DXS7423/DXS10148 and DXS10079/DXS10148. For females, LD was only observed for DXS10103/DXS10101. The combined power of discrimination was 0.9999999979699 for males and 0.999999999999998 for females. The numbers of observed haplotypes in Manchu males were 310, 172, 182 and 172 in four linkage groups; LG1, LG2, LG3 and LG4, respectively, however, these linkage groups did not form stable haplotypes as indicated by linkage equilibrium (LE) of STRs within the groups and significant LD between the groups. This study represents an extensive report on X-STR marker variation in the Manchu population for forensic applications and population genetic studies.
Jung, JY, Kang, P-W, Kim, E, Chacon, D, Beck, D & McNevin, D 2019, 'Ancestry informative markers (AIMs) for Korean and other East Asian and South East Asian populations.', International Journal of Legal Medicine, vol. 133, no. 6, pp. 1711-1719.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Inference of ancestry from biological evidence can provide investigative information, especially for unknown DNA donors. Although tools for predicting ancestry have been developing, ancestry research focusing on populations relevant for South Korea is not common and markers are seldom chosen specifically to differentiate Koreans from other East Asian and South East Asian populations. Here, we report ancestry informative markers (AIMs) for distinguishing six East/South East Asian regional populations: China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. Individual genotypes from these six populations were available in PanSNPdb: The HUGO Pan-Asian SNP Database. To select AIMs, we calculated four population divergence metrics for each SNP: Nei's FST, Rosenberg's Informativeness (In), the average absolute allele frequency difference between populations (δFmean) and the maximum allele frequency difference between populations (δFmax). Based on these values, we selected 100 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for distinguishing the six populations, 13 of which exhibited large allele frequency differences between Koreans and non-Koreans. To assess the performance of the AIMs, we performed principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) on the individuals from all six populations and inferred ancestral population clusters using the STRUCTURE program. In conclusion, we found that the selected AIMs can be applied to distinguish the six East/South East Asian groups and we suggest the markers in this study will be helpful to establish ancestry panels for Korea and neighbouring populations.
McNevin, D, Wright, K, Chaseling, J & Barash, M 2019, 'Commentary on: Bright et al. (2018) Internal validation of STRmix™ - a multi laboratory response to PCAST, Forensic Science International: Genetics, 34: 11-24.', Forensic science international. Genetics, vol. 41, pp. e14-e17.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Al-Asfi, M, McNevin, D, Mehta, B, Power, D, Gahan, ME & Daniel, R 2018, 'Assessment of the Precision ID Ancestry panel', International Journal of Legal Medicine, vol. 132, pp. 1-14.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature Abstract The ability to provide accurate DNA-based forensic intelligence requires analysis of multiple DNA markers to predict the biogeographical ancestry (BGA) and externally visible characteristics (EVCs) of the donor of biological evidence. Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) enables the analysis of hundreds of DNA markers in multiple samples simultaneously, increasing the value of the intelligence provided to forensic investigators while reducing the depletion of evidential material resulting from multiple analyses. The Precision ID Ancestry Panel (formerly the HID Ion AmpliSeq™ Ancestry Panel) (Thermo Fisher Scientific) (TFS)) consists of 165 autosomal SNPs selected to infer BGA. Forensic validation criteria were applied to 95 samples using this panel to assess sensitivity (1 ng-15 pg), reproducibility (inter- and intra-run variability) and effects of compromised and forensic casework type samples (artificially degraded and inhibited, mixed source and aged blood and bone samples). BGA prediction accuracy was assessed using samples from individuals who self-declared their ancestry as being from single populations of origin (n = 36) or from multiple populations of origin (n = 14). Sequencing was conducted on Ion 318™ chips (TFS) on the Ion PGM™ System (TFS). HID SNP Genotyper v4.3.1 software (TFS) was used to perform BGA predictions based on admixture proportions (continental level) and likelihood estimates (sub-population level). BGA prediction was accurate at DNA template amounts of 125pg and 30pg using 21 and 25 PCR cycles respectively. HID SNP Genotyper continental level BGA assignments were concordant with BGAs for self-declared East Asian, African, European and South Asian individuals. Compromised, mixed source and admixed samples, in addition to sub-population level prediction, requires more extensive analysis.
Berger, B, Berger, C, Heinrich, J, Niederstätter, H, Hecht, W, Hellmann, A, Rohleder, U, Schleenbecker, U, Morf, N, Freire-Aradas, A, McNevin, D, Phillips, C & Parson, W 2018, 'Dog breed affiliation with a forensically validated canine STR set.', Forensic science international. Genetics, vol. 37, pp. 126-134.View/Download from: Publisher's site
We tested a panel of 13 highly polymorphic canine short tandem repeat (STR) markers for dog breed assignment using 392 dog samples from the 23 most popular breeds in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. This STR panel had originally been selected for canine identification. The dog breeds sampled in this study featured a population frequency ≥1% and accounted for nearly 57% of the entire pedigree dog population in these three countries. Breed selection was based on a survey comprising records for nearly 1.9 million purebred dogs belonging to more than 500 different breeds. To derive breed membership from STR genotypes, a range of algorithms were used. These methods included discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC), STRUCTURE, GeneClass2, and the adegenet package for R. STRUCTURE analyses suggested 21 distinct genetic clusters. Differentiation between most breeds was clearly discernable. Fourteen of 23 breeds (61%) exhibited maximum mean cluster membership proportions of more than 0.70 with a highest value of 0.90 found for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Dogs of only 6 breeds (26%) failed to consistently show only one major cluster. The DAPC method yielded the best assignment results in all 23 declared breeds with 97.5% assignment success. The frequency-based assignment test also provided a high success rate of 87%. These results indicate the potential viability of dog breed prediction using a well-established and sensitive set of 13 canine STR markers intended for forensic routine use.
Cheung, EYY, Gahan, ME & McNevin, D 2018, 'Prediction of biogeographical ancestry in admixed individuals', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL-GENETICS, vol. 36, pp. 104-111.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Cheung, EYY, Gahan, ME & McNevin, D 2018, 'Predictive DNA analysis for biogeographical ancestry', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 651-658.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018, © 2018 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. Establishment of national DNA databases in Australia and overseas has increased the number of criminal convictions, yet a high volume of serious crime cases remain with no suspect profile nor any DNA database matches. In these circumstances prediction of biogeographical ancestry (BGA) and externally visible characteristics can assist by providing forensic intelligence in conjunction with, or in place of, eyewitness testimonies. To predict the BGA of an individual requires: genetic markers selected for their ability to differentiate between BGAs; representative BGA reference populations; and a prediction algorithm ('classifier') that predicts the BGA of an unknown individual based on genetic markers in the reference populations. The human genome contains autosomal ancestry informative markers that are easily harvested from publicly accessible collections of genotypes with associated ancestry information. A number of classification methods are available including Bayesian approaches and distance-based algorithms. BGA is likely to be continuous rather than discrete and some methods are inappropriate for the prediction of admixed BGA. As predictive services become available to the public and private sectors, there is a risk of results being misinterpreted if an inappropriate tool is applied. Understanding the underlying marker sets, reference populations and classification algorithms is required to prevent ill-informed predictions.
Goodwin, C, Higgins, D, Tobe, SS, Austin, J, Wotherspoon, A, Gahan, ME & McNevin, D 2018, 'Singleplex quantitative real-time PCR for the assessment of human mitochondrial DNA quantity and quality.', Forensic science, medicine, and pathology, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 70-75.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can provide a means for forensic identity testing when genotyping of nuclear DNA (nuDNA) targets is not possible due to degradation or lack of template. For degraded samples, an indication of the quantity and quality of mtDNA is essential to allow selection of appropriately sized targets for hypervariable region (HVR) analysis, which may conserve sample and resources. Three human-specific mtDNA targets of increasing length (86, 190 and 452 base pairs) were amplified by singleplex quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), capable of providing an index of mtDNA degradation from fragment length information. Quantification was achieved by preparation of a standard curve for each target, using a purified mtDNA standard containing all three targets of interest, which produced a linear, accurate and precise result from 1×108 to 10 copies. These novel assays demonstrated excellent sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility in line with the minimum information for qPCR experiments (MIQE) guidelines. Further, a separate inhibition control reaction was included to guide sample clean-up and ensure the validity of degradation assays. This protocol assists the selection and analysis of appropriately sized targets to maximize the chance of obtaining an informative result in downstream assays like sequencing.
Bayesian interpretation of forensic evidence has become dominated by the likelihood ratio (LR) with a large LR generally considered favourable to the prosecution hypothesis, HP, over the defence hypothesis, HD. However, the LR simply quantifies by how much the prior odds ratio of the probability of HP relative to HD has been improved by the forensic evidence to provide a posterior ratio. Because the prior ratio is mostly neglected, the posterior ratio is largely unknown, regardless of the LR used to improve it. In fact, we show that the posterior ratio will only favour HP when LR is at least as large as the number of things that could possibly be the source of that evidence, all being equally able to contribute. This restriction severely limits the value of evidence to the prosecution when only a single, discrete class characteristic is used to match a subset of these things to the evidence. The limitation can be overcome by examining more than one individual characteristic, as long as they are independent of each other, as they are for the genotypes at multiple loci combined for DNA evidence. We present a criterion for determining how many such characteristics are required. Finally, we conclude that a frequentist interpretation is inappropriate as a measure of the strength of forensic evidence precisely because it only estimates the denominator of the LR.
Scudder, N, McNevin, D, Kelty, SF, Walsh, SJ & Robertson, J 2018, 'Forensic DNA phenotyping: Developing a model privacy impact assessment.', Forensic science international. Genetics, vol. 34, pp. 222-230.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Forensic scientists around the world are adopting new technology platforms capable of efficiently analysing a larger proportion of the human genome. Undertaking this analysis could provide significant operational benefits, particularly in giving investigators more information about the donor of genetic material, a particularly useful investigative lead. Such information could include predicting externally visible characteristics such as eye and hair colour, as well as biogeographical ancestry. This article looks at the adoption of this new technology from a privacy perspective, using this to inform and critique the application of a Privacy Impact Assessment to this emerging technology. Noting the benefits and limitations, the article develops a number of themes that would influence a model Privacy Impact Assessment as a contextual framework for forensic laboratories and law enforcement agencies considering implementing forensic DNA phenotyping for operational use.
Scudder, N, McNevin, D, Kelty, SF, Walsh, SJ & Robertson, J 2018, 'Massively parallel sequencing and the emergence of forensic genomics: Defining the policy and legal issues for law enforcement.', Science and Justice - Journal of the Forensic Science Society, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 153-158.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Use of DNA in forensic science will be significantly influenced by new technology in coming years. Massively parallel sequencing and forensic genomics will hasten the broadening of forensic DNA analysis beyond short tandem repeats for identity towards a wider array of genetic markers, in applications as diverse as predictive phenotyping, ancestry assignment, and full mitochondrial genome analysis. With these new applications come a range of legal and policy implications, as forensic science touches on areas as diverse as 'big data', privacy and protected health information. Although these applications have the potential to make a more immediate and decisive forensic intelligence contribution to criminal investigations, they raise policy issues that will require detailed consideration if this potential is to be realised. The purpose of this paper is to identify the scope of the issues that will confront forensic and user communities.
Watherston, J, McNevin, D, Gahan, ME, Bruce, D & Ward, J 2018, 'Current and emerging tools for the recovery of genetic information from post mortem samples: New directions for disaster victim identification.', Forensic science international. Genetics, vol. 37, pp. 270-282.View/Download from: Publisher's site
DNA profiling has emerged as the gold standard for the identification of victims in mass disaster events providing an ability to identify victims, reassociate remains and provide investigative leads at a relatively low cost, and with a high degree of discrimination. For the majority of samples, DNA-based identification can be achieved in a fast, streamlined and high-throughput manner. However, a large number of remains will be extremely compromised, characteristic of mass disasters. Advances in technology and in the field of forensic biology have increased the options for the collection, sampling, preservation and processing of samples for DNA profiling. Furthermore, recent developments now allow a vast array of new genetic markers and genotyping techniques to extract as much genetic information from a sample as possible, ensuring that identification is not only accurate but also possible where material is degraded, or limited. Where historically DNA profiling has involved comparison with ante mortem samples or relatives, now DNA profiling can direct investigators towards putative victims or relatives, for comparison through the determination of externally visible characteristics, or biogeographical ancestry. This paper reviews the current and emerging tools available for maximising the recovery of genetic information from post mortem samples in a disaster victim identification context.
Zhan, X, Adnan, A, Zhou, Y, Khan, A, Kasim, K & McNevin, D 2018, 'Forensic characterization of 15 autosomal STRs in four populations from Xinjiang, China, and genetic relationships with neighboring populations.', Scientific reports, vol. 8, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (XUARC) harbors 47 ethnic groups including the Manchu (MCH: 0.11%), Mongols (MGL: 0.81%), Kyrgyz (KGZ: 0.86%) and Uzbek (UZK: 0.066%). To establish DNA databases for these populations, allele frequency distributions for 15 autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) loci were determined using the AmpFlSTR Identifiler PCR amplification kit. There was no evidence of departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) in any of the four populations and minimal departure from linkage equilibrium (LE) for a very small number of pairwise combinations of loci. The probabilities of identity for the different populations ranged from 1 in 1.51 × 1017 (MCH) to 1 in 9.94 × 1018 (MGL), the combined powers of discrimination ranged from 0.99999999999999999824 (UZK) to 0.9999999999999999848 (MCH) and the combined probabilities of paternal exclusion ranged from 0.9999979323 (UZK) to 0.9999994839 (MCH). Genetic distances, a phylogenetic tree and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the MCH, KGZ and UZK are genetically closer to the Han population of Liaoning and the Mongol population of Mongolia while the MGL are closer to Han, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Hong Kong Han and Russians living in China.
Bennett, VM, McNevin, D, Roffey, P & Gahan, ME 2017, 'Characterization of Yersinia species by protein profiling using automated microfluidic capillary electrophoresis', FORENSIC SCIENCE MEDICINE AND PATHOLOGY, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 10-19.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Cheung, EYY, Gahan, ME & McNevin, D 2017, 'Prediction of biogeographical ancestry from genotype: a comparison of classifiers.', International Journal of Legal Medicine, vol. 131, no. 4, pp. 901-912.View/Download from: Publisher's site
DNA can provide forensic intelligence regarding a donor's biogeographical ancestry (BGA) and other externally visible characteristics (EVCs). A number of algorithms have been proposed to assign individual human genotypes to a BGA using ancestry informative marker (AIM) panels. This study compares the BGA assignment accuracy of the population clustering program STRUCTURE and three generic classification approaches including a Bayesian algorithm, genetic distance, and multinomial logistic regression (MLR). A selection of 142 ancestry informative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were chosen from existing marker panels (SNPforID 34-plex, Eurasiaplex, Seldin, and Kidd's AIM panels) to assess BGA classification at the continental level for Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and Amerindians. A training set of 1093 individuals with self-declared BGA from the 1000 Genomes phase 1 database was used by each classifier to predict BGA in a test set of 516 individuals from the HGDP-CEPH (Stanford) cell line panel. Tests were repeated with 0, 10, 50, 70, and 90% of the genotypes missing. Comparison of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROCs) showed high accuracy in STRUCTURE and the generic Bayesian approach. The latter algorithm offers a computationally simpler alternative to STRUCTURE with little loss in accuracy and is suitable for phenotype prediction while STRUCTURE is not.
Fuller, B, Garland, J, Anne, S, Beh, R, McNevin, D & R. Tse 2017, 'Increased epicardial fat thickness in sudden death from stable coronary artery atherosclerosis', Pathology, vol. 49, pp. S102-S102.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Fuller, B, Garland, J, Anne, S, Beh, R, McNevin, D & Tse, R 2017, 'Increased Epicardial Fat Thickness in Sudden Death From Stable Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis.', The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 162-166.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sudden death from stable coronary artery atherosclerosis (SCAA) is well recognized. However, individuals can have ischemic heart disease or coronary artery atherosclerosis but die of noncardiac causes. Recently, it has been recognized that increased epicardial fat is detrimental to normal heart function. We hypothesize that individuals who die of SCAA have increased epicardial fat.The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an increase in epicardial fat in individuals who suddenly died of SCAA.This was a 1-year retrospective study comparing the average epicardial fat thickness using postmortem computed tomography scan between individuals who suddenly died of SCAA (SCAA group) with individuals who primarily died of natural noncardiac causes but had established ischemic heart disease or significant coronary artery atherosclerosis (NCC group).Average epicardial fat thickness was significantly higher in the SCAA group (8 ± 2 mm) than in the NCC group (6 ± 2 mm, P = 0.008).Individuals who die of SCAA appear to have higher epicardial fat thickness. The increase in epicardial fat may have an additional detrimental effect to the heart predisposing sudden death in individuals with coronary artery atherosclerosis.
McNevin, D, Soleymani, S & Ireland, T 2017, 'Influence of acidity on the mechanical stability of retouched Japanese tissue papers during the course of artificial ageing', Bulletin- Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 3-14.
Mehta, B, Daniel, R & McNevin, D 2017, 'HRM and SNaPshot as alternative forensic SNP genotyping methods.', Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 293-301.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been widely used in forensics for prediction of identity, biogeographical ancestry (BGA) and externally visible characteristics (EVCs). Single base extension (SBE) assays, most notably SNaPshot® (Thermo Fisher Scientific), are commonly used for forensic SNP genotyping as they can be employed on standard instrumentation in forensic laboratories (e.g. capillary electrophoresis). High resolution melt (HRM) analysis is an alternative method and is a simple, fast, single tube assay for low throughput SNP typing. This study compares HRM and SNaPshot®. HRM produced reproducible and concordant genotypes at 500 pg, however, difficulties were encountered when genotyping SNPs with high GC content in flanking regions and differentiating variants of symmetrical SNPs. SNaPshot® was reproducible at 100 pg and is less dependent on SNP choice. HRM has a shorter processing time in comparison to SNaPshot®, avoids post PCR contamination risk and has potential as a screening tool for many forensic applications.
Mehta, B, Daniel, R, Phillips, C & McNevin, D 2017, 'Forensically relevant SNaPshot® assays for human DNA SNP analysis: a review.', International Journal of Legal Medicine, vol. 131, no. 1, pp. 21-37.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Short tandem repeats are the gold standard for human identification but are not informative for forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as genetic markers can be applied to both identification and FDP. The concept of DNA intelligence emerged with the potential for SNPs to infer biogeographical ancestry (BGA) and externally visible characteristics (EVCs), which together enable the FDP process. For more than a decade, the SNaPshot® technique has been utilised to analyse identity and FDP-associated SNPs in forensic DNA analysis. SNaPshot is a single-base extension (SBE) assay with capillary electrophoresis as its detection system. This multiplexing technique offers the advantage of easy integration into operational forensic laboratories without the requirement for any additional equipment. Further, the SNP panels from SNaPshot® assays can be incorporated into customised panels for massively parallel sequencing (MPS). Many SNaPshot® assays are available for identity, BGA and EVC profiling with examples including the well-known SNPforID 52-plex identity assay, the SNPforID 34-plex BGA assay and the HIrisPlex EVC assay. This review lists the major forensically relevant SNaPshot® assays for human DNA SNP analysis and can be used as a guide for selecting the appropriate assay for specific identity and FDP applications.
Soleymani, S, Aalders, J, Gahan, ME, Ireland, T & McNevin, D 2017, 'Fungal bioreceptivity of Japanese tissue papers treated with plant dyes, watercolours, and acrylic paints in paper conservation', Studies in Conservation, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 104-113.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016, © The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works 2016. Despite substantial literature on the dyeing of textiles, there is a lack of research about colouring Japanese mending papers (tissue papers) used for paper conservation purposes. This study investigates the fungal bioreceptivity of Japanese tissue papers after they have been treated with various dyes and pigments. A variety of toning materials including plant dyes, watercolours, acrylic paints, inks, pastels, gouaches, and colour pencils are commonly used by conservators for paper toning purposes. In this study, two Japanese tissue papers (Yukyu-shi and Sekishu Mare) were treated with selected plant dyes, watercolours, and acrylic paints and then inoculated with fungal species. Quantitative real-time pol ymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to quantify the DNA from Aspergillus niger and Penicillium rubrum as a proxy for fungal species abundance before and after inoculation and artificial moist heat ageing. qPCR primers which were universal for fungi amplified DNA from papers inoculated with A. niger and P. rubrum and these species were found to grow less on treated Sekishu Mare and Yukyu-shi papers compared with untreated papers. Sekishu Mare papers treated with artists' acrylic paints were found to be more resistant to fungal growth than similarly treated Yukyu-shi papers. This study suggests that for the best long-term preservation outcomes for paper materials in archives, libraries, galleries, and museums, acrylic paints generally perform better in conservation terms than most plant dyes and watercolours, although most colourants displayed some bioinhibition.
Bowman, S, Roffey, P, McNevin, D & Gahan, ME 2016, 'Evaluation of commercial DNA extraction methods for biosecurity applications', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 407-420.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Ho, YYW, Brims, M, McNevin, D, Spector, TD, Martin, NG & Medland, SE 2016, 'Variation and Heritability in Hair Diameter and Curvature in an Australian Twin Sample', TWIN RESEARCH AND HUMAN GENETICS, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 351-358.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Ho, YYW, Evans, DM, Montgomery, GW, Henders, AK, Kemp, JP, Timpson, NJ, Pourcain, BS, Heath, AC, Madden, PAF, Loesch, DZ, McNevin, D, Daniel, R, Davey-Smith, G, Martin, NG & Medland, SE 2016, 'Common Genetic Variants Influence Whorls in Fingerprint Patterns', JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE DERMATOLOGY, vol. 136, no. 4, pp. 859-862.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016. As well as protecting DNA for subsequent analysis, tissue preservation methods ideally should be safe, readily available, and easy to transport at relatively low cost. Formalin (formaldehyde solution), used extensively to preserve medical and museum specimens, irreparably damages DNA. We have found four tissue preservatives (solid salt, salt-saturated dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-EDTA solution, ethanol solution, and ethanol-EDTA solution) that preserved muscle tissue at 35 °C for up to 1 month: full short tandem repeat (STR) profiles were obtained after preservation. In addition, salt-saturated DMSO-EDTA solution yielded full STR profiles from aliquots of the liquid preservative surrounding muscle tissue.
Mehta, B, Daniel, R, Phillips, C, Doyle, S, Elvidge, G & McNevin, D 2016, 'Massively parallel sequencing of customised forensically informative SNP panels on the MiSeq', ELECTROPHORESIS, vol. 37, no. 21, pp. 2832-2840.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Soleymani, S, Ireland, T & McNevin, D 2016, 'EFFECTS OF PLANT DYES, WATERCOLORS AND ACRYLIC PAINTS ON THE COLORFASTNESS OF JAPANESE TISSUE PAPERS', JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR CONSERVATION, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 56-70.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sorensen, A, Berry, C, Bruce, D, Gahan, ME, Hughes-Stamm, S & McNevin, D 2016, 'Direct-to-PCR tissue preservation for DNA profiling', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE, vol. 130, no. 3, pp. 607-613.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Venables, SJ, Daniel, R, Sarre, SD, Soedarsono, N, Sudoyo, H, Suryadi, H, van Oorschot, RAH, Walsh, SJ, Widodo, PT & McNevin, D 2016, 'Allele frequency data for 15 autosomal STR loci in eight Indonesian subpopulations', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL-GENETICS, vol. 20, pp. 45-52.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Augustinus, D, Gahan, ME & McNevin, D 2015, 'Development of a forensic identity SNP panel for Indonesia', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE, vol. 129, no. 4, pp. 681-691.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Daniel, R, Santos, C, Phillips, C, Fondevila, M, van Oorschot, RAH, Carracedo, A, Lareu, MV & McNevin, D 2015, 'A SNaPshot of next generation sequencing for forensic SNP analysis', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL-GENETICS, vol. 14, pp. 50-60.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Gahan, ME, Thomas, R, Rossi, R, Nelson, M, Roffey, P, Richardson, MM & McNevin, D 2015, 'Background frequency of Bacillus species at the Canberra Airport: A 12 month study', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL, vol. 257, pp. 142-148.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNevin, D, Edson, J, Robertson, J & Austin, JJ 2015, 'Reduced reaction volumes and increased Taq DNA polymerase concentration improve STR profiling outcomes from a real-world low template DNA source: telogen hairs', FORENSIC SCIENCE MEDICINE AND PATHOLOGY, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 326-338.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Soleymani, S, Ireland, T & McNevin, D 2015, 'Toning Japanese tissue papers: An international survey of paper conservation practitioners', AICCM Bulletin, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 116-123.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016, © The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material 2016. This paper presents the findings of an international online survey designed to understand more about accepted practice in paper conservation around the world. Japanese tissue papers have long been used for repairing old documents; however, their colour needs to be visually adjusted to be in keeping with the tonality of the document being repaired. Despite substantial literature on the dyeing of textiles, few studies have been conducted on the effects of toning materials on Japanese mending papers used for paper conservation purposes. The findings of this study suggest that paper conservators generally rely on personal experience, the information passed on from their colleagues and Japanese paper suppliers, and that they tend to feel confident about their choices, despite the fact that there has been little research on the long-term effects of toning materials on Japanese papers. We suggest that further research into the realities of practice and how different conservation and toning techniques have evolved in specific local, cultural and historical circumstances is a fruitful field for further research.
Cho, KT, Richardson, MM, Kirkbride, KP, McNevin, D, Nelson, M, Pianca, D, Roffey, P & Gahan, ME 2014, 'Recovery and identification of bacterial DNA from illicit drugs', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL, vol. 235, pp. 78-85.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McCord, B 2014, 'Forensic Analysis', ELECTROPHORESIS, vol. 35, no. 21-22, pp. 3019-3019.
McLaughlin, J, Nelson, M, McNevin, D, Roffey, P & Gahan, ME 2014, 'Characterization of Bacillus strains and hoax agents by protein profiling using automated microfluidic capillary electrophoresis', FORENSIC SCIENCE MEDICINE AND PATHOLOGY, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 380-389.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Nelson, M, Roffey, P, McNevin, D, Lennard, C & Gahan, ME 2014, 'An overview of biosecurity in Australia', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 383-396.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Venables, SJ, Mehta, B, Daniel, R, Walsh, SJ, van Oorschot, RAH & McNevin, D 2014, 'Assessment of high resolution melting analysis as a potential SNP genotyping technique in forensic casework', ELECTROPHORESIS, vol. 35, no. 21-22, pp. 3036-3043.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Allen-Hall, A & McNevin, D 2013, 'Non-cryogenic forensic tissue preservation in the field: a review', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 450-460.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Edson, J, Brooks, EM, McLaren, C, Robertson, J, McNevin, D, Cooper, A & Austin, JJ 2013, 'A quantitative assessment of a reliable screening technique for the STR analysis of telogen hair roots', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL-GENETICS, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 180-188.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNevin, D, Santos, C, Gómez-Tato, A, Álvarez-Dios, J, de Cal, MC, Daniel, R, Phillips, C & Lareu, MV 2013, 'An assessment of Bayesian and multinomial logistic regression classification systems to analyse admixed individuals', Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol. 4, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) has been applied to the prediction of hair and eye colour. Here we apply it to the prediction of biogeographical ancestry (BGA) in a test set of 1092 admixed and non-admixed genotypes from the 1000 Genomes Project using a training set of 571 non-admixed genotypes from the HGDP CEPH cell line panel. Predicted BGAs are consistent with those of Structure, a naïve Bayesian classifier. © 2013.
Mehta, B, Daniel, R & McNevin, D 2013, 'High resolution melting (HRM) of forensically informative SNPs', Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. e376-e377.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd The SNaPshot® assay is commonly used for forensic SNP analysis. However, it is a multi-step process with potential post-PCR contamination risk. The single tube high resolution melting (HRM) temperature real-time PCR method is an alternative, eliminating the post-PCR tube transfer of SNaPshot®. Eight individual DNA samples were genotyped at the six IrisPlex SNP loci using both the IrisPlex published primer set and a set of custom designed HRM primers. The performance of MeltDoctor™ (Life Technologies®) and SensiFast™ (Bioline®) HRM mastermixes was examined on the ViiA™ 7 Real Time PCR platform for 10 ng and 1 ng DNA template amounts. The resultant genotypes were compared with those derived from SNaPshot®. This preliminary study demonstrates HRM potentially offers a fast and flexible alternative to SNaPshot® for small numbers of SNP loci without the associated contamination risk from post-PCR processes.
Allen-Hall, A & McNevin, D 2012, 'Human tissue preservation for disaster victim identification (DVI) in tropical climates', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL-GENETICS, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 653-657.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Pagan, F, Lim, C, Keglovic, M & McNevin, D 2012, 'Comparison of DNA extraction methods for identification of human remains', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 117-127.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNevin, D, Bate, A, Daniel, R & Walsh, SJ 2011, 'A preliminary mitochondrial DNA SNP genotyping assay for inferring genealogy', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 39-51.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Venables, SJ, McNevin, D, Daniel, R, Sarre, SD, van Oorschot, RAH & Walsh, SJ 2011, 'An in-depth population genetic analysis of forensic short tandem repeat loci in Indonesia', Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol. 3, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Allele frequency data and knowledge of the population genetic features of relevant populations are required to substantiate the strength of forensic DNA evidence. It is conceivable that population substructure exists within Indonesia given that it is an archipelago with over 17,000 islands and encompasses numerous distinct ethnic and linguistic groups. However, the population genetic features of forensic short tandem repeat (STR) loci in Indonesia have not been examined thoroughly. Samples from 1500 unrelated Indonesian individuals representing 31 geographic sub-populations were analysed using the AmpFℓSTR® Identifiler® kit (Applied Biosystems). Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) and linkage equilibrium (LE) were assessed using exact tests and results suggest that a number of the sub-populations, as well as the combined data set (N=1286), display significant departures from equilibrium. Ultimately, data from these STRs and other markers on this sample set will assist in forming genetically appropriate sub-population groupings for the purpose of constructing defensible forensic STR databases. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
McNevin, DB, Badger, MR, Whitney, SM, von Caemmerer, S, Tcherkez, GGB & Farquhar, GD 2007, 'Differences in carbon isotope discrimination of three variants of d-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase reflect differences in their catalytic mechanisms', JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, vol. 282, no. 49, pp. 36068-36076.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Most hairs found at crime scenes yield low quality and/or low quantities of nuclear DNA. This DNA is further depleted when stringent hair cleaning procedures are applied in the laboratory, suggesting that detectable DNA exists exogenously. The phenomenon of exogenous hair DNA is the subject of this study. DNA was extracted from washed and unwashed hairs and the resulting Profiler TM Plus STR genotypes were compared with those of reference (buccal) swabs from the hair donors. The DNA extraction procedure involved no prior cleaning of the hair sample and no dissolution of the hair during digestion, in contrast to standard procedures. The STR genotyping success was measured by recording the two dominant alleles at each locus and comparing them with the reference DNA profile. The effect of hair cleanliness was examined by leaving donors' hair unwashed for periods of 1, 3 and 7 days before sampling. It was found that the genotyping success for unwashed hair was significantly higher than that for freshly washed hair, with the majority of clean hair samples producing little or no DNA. Genotyping success was also lower for donors with cosmetically treated hair compared with those having untreated hair. Although the quality of STR profiles (i.e. allele dropout, differential amplification) from hair shafts or telogen hair clubs is reduced compared with those from other biological sources, the genotypes obtained in this study may be usable and are certainly discriminating if alternative interpretational methods are applied. © 2007 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences.
McNevin, D, Von Caemmerer, S & Farquhar, G 2006, 'Determining RuBisCO activation kinetics and other rate and equilibrium constants by simultaneous multiple non-linear regression of a kinetic model', JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, vol. 57, no. 14, pp. 3883-3900.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNevin, DB, Badger, MR, Kane, HJ & Farquhar, GD 2006, 'Measurement of (carbon) kinetic isotope effect by Rayleigh fractionation using membrane inlet mass spectrometry for CO2-consuming reactions', FUNCTIONAL PLANT BIOLOGY, vol. 33, no. 12, pp. 1115-1128.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNevin, D, Wilson-Wilde, L, Robertson, J, Kyd, J & Lennard, C 2005, 'Short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping of keratinised hair - Part 1. Review of current status and knowledge gaps', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL, vol. 153, no. 2-3, pp. 237-246.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNevin, D, Wilson-Wilde, L, Robertson, J, Kyd, J & Lennard, C 2005, 'Short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping of keratinised hair - Part 2. An optimised genomic DNA extraction procedure reveals donor dependence of STR profiles', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL, vol. 153, no. 2-3, pp. 247-259.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Ragusa, SR, McNevin, D, Qasem, S & Mitchell, CA 2004, 'Indicators of biofilm development and activity in constructed wetlands microcosms', Water Research, vol. 38, pp. 2865-2873.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNevin, D & Barford, J 2001, 'Inter-relationship between adsorption and pH in peat biofilters in the context of a cation-exchange mechanism', WATER RESEARCH, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 736-744.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Mitchell, CA & McNevin, D 2001, 'Alternative analysis of BOD removal in subsurface flow constructed wetlands employing Monod kinetics', Water Research, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 1295-1303.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A new, mechanistic approach for design and analysis of subsurface flow (SSF) constructed wetlands is presented. The model is based on the assumption that the biological processes in wetlands, like other biological systems, exhibit Monod kinetics. A Monod approach fits well with observed wetland performance. It predicts first-order behaviour at low concentrations, that is, pollutant removal rates which increase with increasing pollutant concentration; and zero-order or saturated behaviour at high pollutant concentrations, that is, a maximum pollutant removal rate. A kinetic analysis of subsurface flow constructed wetlands exhibiting Monod kinetics reveals that loading rate, as well as the zero-order degradation rate constant, are essential parameters for efficient wetlands design for the removal of organic carbon. In particular, Monod kinetics enables the identification of an absolute maximum removal rate which is necessary to prevent undersizing in design. This is significant because it represents a theoretical upper bound on loading rate for wetlands design. The analysis is applied to wetlands data collected in North America by the US EPA in order to extract design criteria for BOD removal. It reveals that maximum loadings for SSF wetlands are at least 80kgha-1d-1 for BOD. In addition, a new dimensionless performance efficiency parameter, Omega, is presented as a more effective means of comparing wetland performance.
McNevin, D, Harrison, M, King, A, David, K & Mitchell, CA 2000, 'Towards an integrated performance model for subsurface flow constructed wetlands', Journal Of Environmental Science And Health Part A-toxic/hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 1415-1430.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Detailed investigations have been conducted on a set of four pilot scale subsurface flow (SSF) constructed wetlands in order to characterise heat transfer, mass dispersion and biological performance mechanisms. These studies have followed the beds from post construction through unplanted hydraulic base line studies to the current status of mature stands of Phragmites australis. Experimental observations indicate that in unplanted beds, daily thermal fluctuations are depth dependent and range from 1 to 9 degrees Celsius. These fluctuations result in daily thermal inversions, and enhanced mixing and oxygen transport. For planted beds, thermal fluctuations are depth independent, and have a constant amplitude of 2 degrees Celsius. Planted beds may be thermally stratified. Lithium tracer studies corroborate these results for the planted bed. In addition, performance studies indicate that organic pollutant removal is probably limited to organic suspended solids removal, with subsequent biological breakdown. Current first-order plug flow models can not account for these operational issues. A combined model is necessary to account for lateral dispersion, temperature gradients and settling of suspended solids to accurately reflect real biological removal mechanisms
Scudder, N, Kelty, SF, Busby Grant, J, Montgomerie, C, Walsh, SJ, Robertson, J & McNevin, D, 'Differing Perception of DNA Evidence and Intelligence Capabilities in Criminal Investigations'.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The ability to predict physical characteristics from DNA presents significant opportunities for forensic science. Giving scientists an ability to make predictions about the donor of genetic material at a crime scene can then give investigators new intelligence leads for cold cases where DNA evidence has not identified any person of interest. However, the interpretation of this new form of intelligence requires careful analysis. The responses to an online survey, conducted in 2018-19, were used to examine how actors in the criminal justice system assess and interpret different types of DNA evidence and intelligence. The groups of focus for the survey were investigators, legal practitioners and the general public (as potential jurors). Several statistically significant effects were identified based on occupation and whether an individual had prior exposure to new DNA technology. Monitoring how those involved in interpreting reports from different types of DNA evidence and intelligence interpret them helps to ensure that decisions are made based on a sound understanding of their capabilities and limitations and may inform broader training and awareness strategies.
Edgerton, BD, McNevin, D, Wong, CH, Menoud, P, Barford, JP & Mitchell, CA 1999, 'Strategies for dealing with piggery effluent in Australia: the sequencing batch reactor as a solution', WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 4th IAWQ International Specialised Conference on Small Wastewater Treatment Plants, PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, STRATFORD AVON, ENGLAND, pp. 123-126.
Menoud, P, Wong, CH, McNevin, D, Barford, JP & Barton, GW 1998, 'Sensitivity analysis of floc-based nutrient removal', COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY 1998, 7th IFAC International Conference on Computer Applications in Biotechnology (CAB7), PERGAMON PRESS LTD, OSAKA, JAPAN, pp. 29-36.
I collaborate regularly with:
- Australian Federal Police Forensics
- NSW Police Force Forensic Evidence & Technical Services
- NSW Forensic and Analytical Science Service
- Victoria Police Forensic Services Department