Sunday, January 25, 2009

How reliable is DNA identification?,0,1506170,full.story
A discovery leads to questions about whether the odds of people sharing genetic profiles are sometimes higher than portrayed. Calling the finding meaningless, the FBI has sought to block such inquiry.
Lovely that our own FBI actively worked to try to block researchers and defense attorneys from investigating just how unique DNA is using the existing national DNA database (known to fellow CSI fans as CODIS). Don't they care about the truth? Apparently not. There are 6 million DNA profiles in there so far. Staggering.
No one knows precisely how rare DNA profiles are.
That is scary. Harkens back to the fingerprint uniqueness issues that were brought to light in the last few years too. The research shows that there can be many, many matches of 9 loci (locations on the chromosomes) or more. If you get busted by DNA evidence, you should insist on a match of at least 13 loci. But it should still be known just how likely it is for even that to match someone who is not the right person.

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