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A special state subcommittee Friday will be fine tuning a proposal for New York State to use familial searching, an emerging DNA technique used to solve cold case homicides around the country.

The DNA subcommittee of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science will be voting on details of the plan to use familial searching, proposals that have been in the works since the beginning of the year. Under proposed guidelines, special DNA analysis will be allowed in cases of homicide, rape, arson and crimes involving “a significant public safety threat.”

If the subcommittee approves the measure it will pass its recommendation to the commission, which could vote on it next month. Familial searching is supported by the city’s five district attorneys, as well as NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.

Familial searching is a two-step process in which an unidentified DNA sample that doesn’t match any genetic profile in the state database is given further analysis to see if it bears an similarities with known profiles. If similarities are found, the unknown sample’s Y-chromosome is further analyzed to come up with a likely relative of the unidentified person.

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