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NCJ Number: 229905 Find in a Library
Title: Authentication of Forensic DNA Samples
Journal: Forensic Science International: Genetics  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:February 2010  Pages:95-103
Author(s): Dan Frumkin; Adam Wasserstrom; Ariane Davidson; Arnon Grafit
Date Published: February 2010
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Ireland
Annotation: This article shows that the current forensic procedure fails to distinguish between planted samples of blood, saliva, and touched surfaces with artificial DNA and corresponding samples with in vivo generated (natural) DNA; furthermore, genotyping of both artificial and natural samples with Profiler Plus yielded full profiles with no anomalies.
Abstract: Over the past 20 years, DNA analysis has revolutionized forensic science, and has become a dominant tool in law enforcement. Today, DNA evidence is key to the conviction or exoneration of suspects of various types of crime, from theft to rape and murder; however, the disturbing possibility that DNA evidence can be faked has been overlooked. It turns out that standard molecular biology techniques such as PCR, molecular cloning, and recently developed whole genome amplification (WGA), enable anyone with basic equipment and know-how to produce practically unlimited amounts of in vitro synthesized (artificial) DNA with any desired genetic profile. This artificial DNA can then be applied to surfaces of objects or incorporated into genuine human tissues and planted in crime scenes. In order to effectively deal with this problem, we developed an authentication assay which distinguishes between natural and artificial DNA based on methylation analysis of a set of genomic loci. In natural DNA, some loci are methylated and others are unmethylated, while in artificial DNA, all loci are unmethylated. The assay was tested on natural and artificial samples of blood, saliva, and touched surfaces, with complete success. Adopting an authentication assay for casework samples as part of the forensic procedure is necessary for maintaining the high credibility of DNA evidence in the judiciary system. Figures, table, and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): DNA fingerprinting; Foreign criminal justice research; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Israel; Suspect identification; Trace evidence; Victim identification
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