DNA Technology in Forensic Science

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Matching DNA samples from crime scenes and suspects is rapidly becoming a key source of evidence for use in our justice system. DNA Technology in Forensic Science offers recommendations for resolving crucial questions that are emerging as DNA typing becomes more widespread.
The volume addreses key issues:
  • Quality and reliability in DNA typing, including the introduction of new technologies, problems of standardization, and approaches to certification.
  • DNA typing in the courtroom, including issues of population genetics, levels of understanding among judges and juries, and admissibility.
  • Societal issues, such as privacy of DNA data, storage of samples and data, and the rights of defendants to quality testing technology.
Combining this original volume with the new update--The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence--provides the complete, up-to-date picture of this highly important and visible topic.
This volume offers important guidance to anyone working with this emerging law enforcement tool: policymakers, specialists in criminal law, forensic scientists, geneticists, researchers, faculty, and students.
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Editorial Reviews

Surveys the growing practice of matching DNA from crime scenes with that of suspects. Offers recommendations for such issues as the reliability and quality of DNA typing, standardization, and certification; and considers broader concerns such as the different levels of understanding by judges and juries, population genetics, and rights of privacy concerning DNA data and samples. Includes a glossary without pronunciation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780309045872
  • Publisher: National Academies Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Summary 1
1 Introduction 27
Background 27
Genetic Basis of DNA Typing 32
Technological Basis of DNA Typing 36
Population Genetics Relevant to the Interpretation of DNA Typing 44
Characteristics of an Optimal Forensic DNA Typing System 48
References 49
2 DNA Typing: Technical Considerations 51
Essentials of a Forensic DNA Typing Procedure 52
Technical Issues in RFLP Analysis 56
Technical Issues in PCR-Based Methods 63
National Committee on Forensic DNA Typing 70
Summary of Recommendations 72
References 73
3 DNA Typing: Statistical Basis for Interpretation 74
Estimating the Population Frequency of a DNA Pattern 75
Determining Allele Frequencies in a Population Databank 85
Implications of Genetic Correlations among Relatives 86
Implications of Increased Power of DNA Typing Compared with Conventional Serology 88
Laboratory Error Rates 88
Toward a Firm Foundation for Statistical Interpretation 89
Summary of Recommendations 94
References 95
4 Ensuring High Standards 97
Defining the Principles of Quality Assurance 98
Potential Methods for Ensuring Quality 99
Quality Assurance in Related Fields 101
Initial Efforts Toward Establishing Standards in Forensic DNA Typing 102
A Regulatory Program for DNA Typing 104
Summary of Recommendations 108
References 109
5 Forensic DNA Databanks and Privacy of Information 111
Comparison of DNA Profiles and Latent Fingerprints 111
Confidentiality and Security 113
Methodological Standardization 116
Cost Versus Benefit 117
Whose Samples Should Be Included? 118
Sample Storage 122
Information To Be Included and Maintained in a Databank 122
Rules on Accessibility 123
Statistical Interpretation of Databank Matches 124
Status of Databank Development 124
Model Cooperative Information Resource 126
Summary of Recommendations 128
References 129
6 Use of DNA Information in the Legal System 131
Admissibility 132
DNA Databanks on Convicted Felons: Legal Aspects 142
Assessing the Admissibility of Evidence Based on Results of Further Advances in DNA Technology 143
Suggestions For Use ofDNA Evidence 145
DNA Evidence and the Various Parties in the Legal System 146
Testing Laboratories 148
Protective Orders 148
Availability and Cost of Experts 148
Summary of Recommendations 149
References 150
7 DNA Typing and Society 152
Economic Aspects 153
Ethical Aspects 154
Abuse and Misuse of DNA Information 158
Expectations 160
Accountability and Public Scrutiny 162
International Exchange 162
Summary of Recommendations 163
References 163
Organizational Abbreviations 165
Glossary 167
Biographical Information on Committee Members 173
Participants 179
Index 179
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