Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Scientists show how DNA evidence can be fabricated

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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Remember how we’re constantly told that a DNA database will help us fight crime? That DNA is the way forward in identity terms? That biometrics actually protect your identity? Well those lovely people in the world of science seem to have shown it to be absolute bollocks. The NY Times reports,

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

This news doesn’t just undermine DNA usage in crime investigation, it also undermines any claim to the protection of identity through the use of DNA. If you can somehow gain access to a DNA profile then you could, in theory, create the means to pass yourself off as that person.

The world of Gattaca is not so fantastical anymore it seems. Let’s see whether the Government responds to this with some line about how their profile database is unhackable.”

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Quite surprised this hasn’t been more widely reported. Could have huge implications for forensic science and the reliability of DNA evidence in the future as well as making any identity database based on DNA very dodgy (technical term).

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Categories: science Tags: , , ,

True science

January 14, 2009 Leave a comment

“I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in
pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any
meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an
inconsiderable one, of being true.” – Carl Sagan

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