New Software Environment Provides Seamless Integration and Use of Emerging Forensic Analysis Tools
Reston, Va. (3 October 2017) – Today, at the 28th International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI),Parabon® NanoLabs (Parabon) announced the 2018 release of the Parabon® Fx™ forensic analysis platform, a revolutionary new software solution for forensic analysis of DNA and other large-scale “omics” data. From targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) for identity matching to whole-genome SNP microarray panels for ancestry and phenotype determination, the Fx platform offers a powerful yet user-friendly environment for importing, storing, analyzing and reporting on complex forensic datasets. Fx is vendor agnostic, allowing raw data to be imported from virtually any forensic instrument, and its extensible plugin architecture enables a wide collection of forensic apps to interoperate seamlessly under a consistent user interface.
Fx is being developed in collaboration with the Center for Human Identification (CHI) at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC). Analytical tools such as STRait Razor and mitoSAVE, both developed at UNTHSC, will be deployed as Fx plugins with the initial release of the platform. “As forensic labs begin to embrace DNA sequencing and SNP genotyping, analysts are faced with a dizzying array of complex instruments, protocols and analyses, most of which are new and challenging.” said CHI Director and forensic DNA expert Bruce Budowle. “By integrating these technologies under a common software platform, we hope to facilitate the transition of NGS to the operational forensic laboratory.”
Parabon’s CEO, Steven Armentrout, believes that Fx’s intuitive user interface and powerful integration features will eliminate the friction that comes with acquiring, installing, integrating, and using emerging forensic apps. “Think of how empowering mobile platforms and integrated app stores were to early users of smartphones. They made highly complex software applications accessible and easy to use. Fx aims to do the same for next-gen forensic analysis applications, allowing them to run on lab computers through a browser interface.” He added, “Fx will initially enable analysis of STRs, SNPs, and mitochondrial DNA from any NGS platform, as well as Snapshot® DNA phenotyping with SNP genotyping data, but by working with third-party forensics companies, plugins for virtually any type of analysis can be developed for data types not yet even contemplated.”
The Fx platform is based upon work supported by the US Army Research Office, The Washington Headquarters Services Acquisition Directorate and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Emerging Capabilities and Prototyping under Contract No. W911NF-16-C-0085. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of Parabon and do not necessarily reflect the views of US Army Research Office, The Washington Headquarters Services Acquisition Directorate or the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Emerging Capabilities and Prototyping.
Parabon is exhibiting in booth 410 at the ISHI symposium, which is being held 2-5 October 2017 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.