DNA – The Good, The Bad And The Mistakes

All of us can be identified as a result of our DNA and it is this DNA that is used by forensic scientists. While most of the DNA we all have – basically the parts that make us humans – is identical, there is enough individual parts in all of us to make it an accurate way to identify people. It is set out in such a way that means it is not only possible to identify an individual but also find out if people are related.

The Beginning of DNA Profiling And Its Use

Sir Alec Jeffreys developed the technique at the Leicester University UK back in 1984 – quite a significant year for such a forward reaching technique. If a crime has been committed, Police will try to link a suspect to the event and using DNA was seen as a fail proof way to do it. Samples of bodily fluid are collected and their makeup is studied. When the makeup has been analyzed it can be used to prove if there is a match or not. It can be blood, saliva or semen that is used and only the smallest amount needs to be present.

Family Links

It is not just crime detection where this process is helping people. Many children grow up not knowing their fathers and some men have concerns that they are not actually the father of the children born to their wives and girlfriends.  A child will have half of their DNA from the mother and half from the father and as it is contained in every cell, paternity can be proven just by taking a buccal swab and collect fluids from inside the mouth. In the absence of a father to test, there can be samples taken from siblings and if there is enough of a match this will be considered proof enough.

Use in The USA

The United States has strict rules when it comes to DNA testing, and it is such an important issue that all states have database laws. A big concern is a report from Israel claiming that DNA can be manufactured and doctored to make it seem to come from someone else other than the person that provided it. A further concern is that information kept on a data base can allow a fake sample to be made up, and therefore a synthetic product exists without any contact with the original sample. There has been a system set out by Dr Frumkin that would be able to determine real DNA from manufactured. As yet it is not known how often this test is carried out in the USA as there are have not been any police laboratories prepared to say that they use the test.

High Profile Mistakes – And Corrections

There have been a number of high profile mistakes when innocent people have been found guilty or the guilty have been set free. In Australia a man had his conviction for burglary overturned at Wyong Local Court when it was accepted that the DNA was not properly tested. In Southampton England a man served 27 years for murder before it was discovered that the DNA found at the scene was not his. One case where DNA helped was in 2005 when Evan Simmons was released after 24 years in prison when DNA tests proved he was not the attacker.

Today’s guest post is authored by Jason Penn, a talented writer and a professional blogger. He enjoys reading in his spare time. He feels that many major situations can be averted if proper police gear were provided to the officers.