Biology in the Laboratory

DNA in the Lab

Can an innocent person be convicted based on DNA analysis?

Current methods of DNA analysis are very sensitive, as only a few cells are needed for DNA extraction. However, it is possible for an innocent person’s DNA to be found at any crime scene, either from accidental contamination or direct contamination by a third party. Also, a partial DNA profile from a crime scene could match that of an innocent person whose DNA is already in a DNA data bank. In addition, close relatives of suspected criminals could also be partial matches to a DNA profile.


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