Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So now even DNA evidence is suspect.

Although I'm a bit of a skeptic overall, I'm comfortable with fingerprint evidence being used in court. That given, I think we all know that it's possible for a clean fingerprint to be lifted off one source and conveniently planted somewhere else.

Guess what? Something much more convincing is now possible. It involves DNA evidence. Of course, you could always find DNA in somebody's home and plant it in a crime scene, but in this case scientists can remove the DNA that currently resides in blood or saliva and replace it with a match to other DNA that was taken from, say, a drinking glass or a cigarette butt. Same blood sample, different DNA. How are we supposed to build a justice system around that?

The article points out that this evidence won't hold up to any scrutiny deeper than simply checking for markers, however there are workarounds to that as well. However, most labs won't look any deeper than they need to to confirm a match. The researchers that announced this exploit sent results of this technique to various independent labs, and they were fooled.

There is good news. There is a relatively an easy way to determine whether or not this process has been done to forge a sample. The question is, will crime labs start testing all samples for such tampering? Not until scientists have been caught in the act numerous times, I fear.



  1. What's up, thricey? No new
    content in weeks?! Baaaah!

  2. I bought a PS3, what do you want? Ooh, comment post and finally giving in to the inevitable machination that is twitter, all in one day. Someone took their Ritalin.

  3. Well I have to comment to get anything out of you. As for twitter, no idea what you're talking about.

  4. Ah, just like Zack Morris had to call his dad to talk to him EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE IN THE SAME ROOM!!! Thank you, Saved by the Bell.