Have DNA Databases Produced False Convictions?

by jeeg 10. July 2012 22:10
About a year ago, I asked whether any false convictions have resulted from DNA database searches . Of course, if there are any, they might be hard to find, but there is a known recent case of a false initial accusation. It came about because a laboratory contaminated a crime-scene sample with DNA from an whose DNA was on file from other cases.   In March 2012, a private firm in England re-used a “plastic tray as part of the robotic DNA extraction process” . The tray, whi... [More]

Sequencing the genome of an entire population

by jeeg 10. July 2012 22:06
As the first country ever, the Faroe Islands are preparing to sequence the genetic material of its entire population. The FarGen project could become a model for personalised medicine throughout the world. The ambitious Faroese FarGen project has set out to sequence the Faroese genome. The project will be the first one in the world to map the genetic material of an entire population and will thereby bring the Faroes into the future of personalised genomics-based health systems. “Th... [More]

Weak DNA evidence could undermine justice, experts say

by jeeg 6. July 2012 00:03
When Cook County prosecutors brought Cleveland Barrett to trial earlier this year for the predatory criminal sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl, they presented the jury hearing the case testimony from the alleged victim plus the kind of evidence that long has won convictions with its scientific certainty: DNA.   Indeed, Assistant State's Attorneys Krista Peterson and Jane Sack told jurors in closing arguments that the DNA obtained from the victim after the alleged incident in July ... [More]

Fetal genome sequenced without the father's DNA

by jeeg 5. July 2012 22:08
Who's your daddy? Clinicians seeking to pinpoint genetic diseases in developing fetuses may no longer need to know the identity of the father, thanks to a method for sequencing a fetus's genome using just a blood sample drawn from a pregnant woman.   Researchers have known for some time that during pregnancy a small amount of fetal DNA passes through the placenta and into the mother's bloodstream. Several commercially available genetic tests use this DNA to test for chromosomal abno... [More]

Ruling voids Arizona law on sampling juveniles' DNA

by jeeg 5. July 2012 21:55
Analyzing the DNA samples of juveniles who have not been found guilty of any crime is an unconstitutional warrantless search, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.   In a unanimous decision, the justices said the state is free to force juveniles accused of certain serious offenses to provide a DNA sample. Justice Andrew Hurwitz, writing for the court, said that is little difference than fingerprints or mug shots. But Hurwitz said that legal parallel ceases to exist once the st... [More]
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