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DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Interesting article from the New York Times

DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/sc...8dna.html?_r=3
post #2 of 7
Very interesting. Then again, I always felt that any science with human interaction is at risk for falsifyed results or mistakes.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
And you were right.

I think the fact that they've found a way to tamper with or fabricate DNA evidence is a very scary and troubling development.
post #4 of 7
How is it any scarier than what has already been done? Cases where evidence was lost, mishandled (intentionally), or destroyed so that it couldn't be gone back over later. Cases where the DA and state think they already have the right person locked up and wouldn't want it coming out later that they were wrong. (yes, this has happened)
The science isn't the problem, greedy and corrupt people are and always will be the problem.

The only thing that can be done is to keep samples more anonymous and/or have tighter procedures in place to watch for this.
post #5 of 7
If Joe Schmo were able to manipulate DNA evidence, that would be a real (and come to think of it, probably inevitable) problem, but with the scientific advances with DNA over the last 10 years or so, it was only matter of time that this would be possible in the laboratory. To me, the troubling part is that now the seed has been planted that DNA evidence is part of a potentially corruptive element, where at one time it was merely seen as the saving grace for those wrongly accused.

The speed at which that transition (from constructive to destructive) took place really saddens me. It seems that every positive component in life eventually becomes twisted into a negative, exploitive force, and it occurs so quickly, that it almost seems a natural evolution of things; as though ours is a culture destined to be immersed in darkness.
post #6 of 7
Im not convinced.
"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 so called "basic equipment" would cost well over $250,000, the reagents are also quite expensive to run this equipment. Sure I could theoretically do it in my lab - all the equipment is there or elsewhere in my department (a sequencer is very expensive, so we dont have our own for example) but it would take A LOT of effort, and not a small amount of time. Talk about pre-meditation in a crime to "fake the forensic evidence"
The fact that the authors of this paper are marketing their own not-cheap product, also highlights the significance (er, lack thereof) of their finding.
Possible - yes. Plausible - not really imo.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Februa View Post
Im not convinced.
"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 so called "basic equipment" would cost well over $250,000, the reagents are also quite expensive to run this equipment. Sure I could theoretically do it in my lab - all the equipment is there or elsewhere in my department (a sequencer is very expensive, so we dont have our own for example) but it would take A LOT of effort, and not a small amount of time. Talk about pre-meditation in a crime to "fake the forensic evidence"
The fact that the authors of this paper are marketing their own not-cheap product, also highlights the significance (er, lack thereof) of their finding.
Possible - yes. Plausible - not really imo.
The authors' product didn't escape my notice, either, so color me very skeptical, too.
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