Familial searching

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryAcademicpeer-review


Familial searching is the act of deliberately searching a DNA database with the purpose of identifying biological relatives of the unknown donor of a DNA profile. In this article, we discuss the statistical and probabilistic issues arising from such a search. We first discuss the genetic background of familial searching and observe that some DNA profiles are more suitable for familial searching than others. We discuss various strategies for finding relatives and discuss weak and strong points of each strategy in terms of false positive and false negative rates, workload, and efficiency. We also discuss statistical issues in the context of familial searching arising from the fact that databases and populations are both heterogeneous. Finally, we briefly discuss some ethical issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science
EditorsAllan Jamieson, Andre Moenssens
ISBN (Electronic)9780470061589
ISBN (Print)9780470018262
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Paper book (5 volume set) first published in June 2009.


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