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DNA Technology in Forensic Science

NCJ Number
Date Published
200 pages

Using up-to-date information and expert commentary, this book discusses quality and reliability in DNA typing, including the introduction of new technologies, problems of standardization, and approaches to certification.


The introductory chapter discusses the genetic and technological bases of DNA typing, population genetics relevant to the interpretation of DNA typing, and characteristics of an optimal forensic DNA typing system. Other chapters discuss technical considerations in DNA typing, the statistical basis for interpretation in DNA typing, the assurance of high standards for DNA typing, forensic DNA databanks and privacy of information, and the use of DNA information in the legal system. Among the recommendations offered in this report is one that proposes legal sanctions to deter the unauthorized dissemination or procurement of DNA information obtained for forensic purposes. A recommendation also advises the prosecutors and defense counsel should not oversell DNA evidence by suggesting to a judge or jury that DNA typing is infallible. Also, mechanisms should be established to ensure the accountability of laboratories and personnel involved in DNA typing. The same standards and peer-review process used to evaluate advances in biomedical science and technology should be used to evaluate forensic DNA methods and techniques. Chapter references, a glossary, and a subject index

Date Published: January 1, 1992