Our project team at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to conduct research that benefits the human identity testing community and to create tools that enable forensic DNA laboratories to be more effective in analyzing DNA. We certify standard reference materials, conduct interlaboratory studies, produce new assays to enable improved recovery of information from degraded DNA, evaluate new loci for potential future use in human identity applications, and generate standard information and training materials that are made available on the NIST STRBase website: http://www.cstl.nist.gov/biotech/strbase/
. New genetic markers and assays involving STR and SNP loci are examined in a U.S. reference population data set involving approximately 660 samples that are of Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American origin. Efforts to improve STR and SNP typing resources and assays for the community are described.