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DNA evidence breaking tough cases open but there are problems October 4, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Life, News, Technology.
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DNA evidence breaking tough cases open but there are problems | ZDNet Government Blog
Wahl said what goes on in DNA labs bears no resemblance to what TV shows like “CSI” portray, adding that he left his job in Las Vegas because the crushing caseloads left him “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Crime shows, he said, make things tougher for real labs because they create unrealistic expectations for “the viewing public, who are potential jurors, and even some district attorneys who watch TV and think that’s how the real world is.”

Cloudiness can creep in, she said, when a sample lifted from an object or person contains more than one DNA profile, when contamination of a sample occurs or when a given DNA profile is compared with profiles contained in a data bank.

With the latter, she said, a match doesn’t necessarily mean a culprit has been identified. Funk said that’s because the probability of connecting a particular DNA profile to one in a data base is much higher than it would be if a single profile is compared at random to another single profile. (Click Image to enlarge)

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