Organizations Based In Europe

The International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) formerly known as the International Society of Forensic Haemogenetics (ISFH) is an international organization responsible for the promotion of scientific knowledge in the field of genetic markers analyzed with forensic purposes. The ISFG includes more than 800 members from 50 countries. Regular meetings are typically held bi-annually on an international level. Conference volumes were published under the title 'Advances in Forensic Haemogenetics' and are now titled 'Progress in Forensic Genetics'. Recommendations on forensic genetic analysis are also proposed as needed by an ad hoc DNA Commission. Several formal recommendations have come from this group regarding the use of STR markers (DNA Commission 1992, Bar et al. 1994, Bar et al. 1997), mitochondrial DNA (Carracedo et al. 2000), and Y chromosome markers (Gill et al. 2001). For additional information on ISFG, visit its web site: http://www.isfg.org.

The European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) was started in 1995 to set standards for exchange of data between European member states and to be an accrediting body through conducting laboratory audits. Within the ENFSI, there is a DNA working group that meets twice a year to discuss forensic DNA protocols and research in much the same fashion as SWGDAM does within the United States.

The European forensic DNA community has another organization similar to SWGDAM named EDNAP (European DNA Profiling Group). EDNAP is effectively a working group of the international Society of Forensic Genetics and consists of representatives from more than a dozen European nations. EDNAP has conducted a series of inter-laboratory studies on various STR markers to investigate the reproducibility of multiple laboratories in testing the same samples (Table 16.2). These studies have demonstrated that with the proper quality control measures excellent reproducibility can be seen between forensic laboratories. For additional information on EDNAP, visit its web site: http://www.isfg.org/ednap/ednap.htm.

Another European organization for standardizing forensic DNA methods is STADNAP, which is an acronym for Standardization of DNA Profiling Techniques in the European Union. The goals of STADNAP include defining criteria for the selection of forensic DNA typing systems used among the European countries, exchanging and comparing methods for unifying protocols used for DNA typing, and compiling reference allele frequency databases for European populations. For more information on STADNAP, visit its web site: www.stadnap.uni-mainz.de.

The Interpol European Working Party on DNA Profiling (IEWPDP) consists of DNA experts from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. IEWPDP makes recommendations concerning the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations with the goal of facilitating a wider use of this technique in Europe. For example, Interpol recommended that the European standard set of STR loci include FGA, TH01, VWA, and D21S11. For more information on Interpol's DNA efforts, visit their web site: http://www.interpol.int/Public/ Forensic/dna/default.asp.

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