Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Israeli scientists discover way to counterfeit DNA

With thanks to HHQ for sending this my way......
It is a bit of an older item, but, still deserving of a read. After reading, one must think about the ramifications of this news.
New York Times reports Israeli firm created blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a third party.

Israeli scientists have shown it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, according to an article published in the New York Times on Tuesday.The findings could possibly call into question the credibility of DNA as evidence in criminal cases.

In their tests, the scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples that contained DNA taking from a different person. The article states that the scientists also could take a DNA profile in a database and use it to make a DNA sample to match the profile without needing any tissue from the person.

And governments are so hot to collect DNA and keep it on record? Why?
Just a smattering of reports indicate this is going on world-wide and it is not just criminals.

The dangers of growing DNA data bases
The practice of retaining genetic samples from people arrested for a crime but not convicted is growing in the U.S. It has serious human rights implications

India may soon have DNA database to crack crime

Both articles mention the big brother UK data base.

DNA data bases can already be subjected to hacking, as any other data base can be.
Or manipulation?
But, the fact that it can be counterfeited makes DNA bases redundant, and DNA as evidence for trials is not a sure thing.

Legal and civil rights experts quoted in the article say the test is troubling, in that it could mean more cases of fabricated DNA being used as evidence at crime scenes.

"DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints," Simoncelli said. We're creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology."

Another question? How long has Israel been counterfeiting DNA?

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