What Does Software Engineering Have to Do with DNA?

Probabilistic genotyping software offers an alternative to manual interpretation of DNA data by leveraging computing power. Samples uninterpretable by human methods can now be interpreted by machine. Has forensic DNA analysis embraced software engineering quality assurance practices for probabilistic genotyping systems? Defense attorneys should request materials to gain further insight into a program’s operation (e.g., source code and software development documentation); to assess the verification and validation processes undertaken during development; and to review the calculations performed on DNA samples in the defendant’s case.