Navigation Links
DNA conclusive yet still controversial, Carnegie Mellon professor says

Although the odds that DNA evidence found at a crime scene will match by chance the DNA of a person who was not there are infinitesimal, controversy continues about DNA identification and its use in criminal investigations, says Carnegie Mellon University Statistics Professor Kathryn Roeder. Roeder will present a historical overview of the use of DNA identification on Tuesday, April 25, during the Annual Symposia of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Almost 28,000 cases nationwide have been prosecuted with help from the FBI's data bank of DNA profiles, while at least 170 people have seen their convictions overturned on appeal thanks to DNA evidence. Nonetheless, the use of DNA evidence in appeals has been impeded by political considerations and legal uncertainties, according to Roeder. "After all other legal avenues have been tried, the hope of any innocent person is that biological evidence from their cases still exists and can be subjected to DNA testing. But DNA's value to free the wrongfully convicted can be attained only if political leaders allow its full application," Roeder said. "Thousands currently await the evaluation of their cases."

In the early phases, technical disputes among scientists impeded the use of DNA evidence, Roeder said. One of the earliest controversies to erupt over DNA testing was the magnitude of genetic diversity among people of different ancestry.

Some controversy remains concerning the so-called "cold hit" technique, in which investigators search a DNA database to find a match of DNA found at a crime scene and then collect other evidence to build their case -- as opposed to first identifying a suspect through other evidence and then using DNA to confirm their case. Some critics claimed that this practice could snag an innocent person, but Roeder has demonstrated through her own research that the likelihood of a false hit are miniscule -- in one case, for example, it was about 1 in 26 quintill ion, a probability so slight it needn't be shared with juries, Roeder said.

"The jury can't handle such small numbers. We would do them a service to simply tell them it matches or it doesn't match," Roeder said.

Roeder began her career as a biologist, and much of her current research is focused on using statistical tools to understand the workings of the human genome and the nature of inherited diseases. She is a member of the Bioinformatics and Statistics Genetics Group, which includes researchers in the departments of Statistics and Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon, and the departments of Psychiatry and Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. The group's primary research goal is to develop statistical tools for finding associations between patterns of genetic variation and complex disease.


'"/>

Source:Carnegie Mellon University


Related biology news :

1. Evidence for omega 3 fats less conclusive than we thought, say experts
2. South Africa still debating how to tackle HIV/AIDS when 5 million are infected
3. Human brain is still evolving
4. Genetic testing still smart choice, despite uncertainties
5. Tuberculosis still a risk for patients receiving HIV drugs
6. One-third of adults with diabetes still dont know they have it
7. Mice lacking key immune component still control chronic viral infections
8. Despite acidity, orange juice could still be a source of foodborne disease
9. Ten years later, Dolly is still making headlines
10. History-hunting geneticists can still follow familiar trail
11. Experimental vaccine given during pregnancy reduces stillbirths from common virus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/20/2017)... DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead of their ... (DCA). ... launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May at ... process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled in CLEAR ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... online age and identity verification solutions, announced today they ... Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... and International Trade Center. Identity impacts ... and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and ... the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration ... Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at ... the Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center ... the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and ... , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is ... Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel ... three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank ... in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped ... the structural biology community. The winners worked with ... now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... Cure) will host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive ... INSIGhT Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: