Lab creates fake DNA evidence

Van Mensvoort
August 19th 2009

DNA evidence has been the most bulletproof evidence for forensic sciences in recent years. Not anymore. A laboratory at Nucleix, a life-sciences company, has demonstrated it is possible to manufacture DNA that would be accurate enough to pass forensic scrutiny:

“You can just engineer a crime scene,” Nucleix founder Dan Frumkin told The New York Times. “The current forensic procedure fails to distinguish between such samples of blood, saliva, and touched surfaces with artificial DNA, and corresponding samples with in vivo generated (natural) DNA."

“Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

Frumkin and co-authors announced their technological achievement in a paper for the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. Fortunately, the company also offers a solution: one particular methyl group appears in naturally-occuring DNA, but not in Nucleix’s product.

Sources: NY Times, Scientific American, Technology Review, Neatorama. Related: Surrogate Sushi unmasked with DNA test, DNA Synthesizer, DNA as information storage. Thanks Jeroen Bosch.

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1 comment

Posted 21/08/2009 – 19:36

One of the artists (his name escapes me, he's a teacher at SUNY Buffalo the Bio Art )that was part of the Design and the Elastic Mind show at MOMA. He had works made by manipulating DNA and DNA strand mapping into smileys and hearts. He used the same technique used by the prosecution to show evidence of DNA matches! Scary to think how easy it is to misuse evidence we thought was 100% proof. Whats scarier still, that the public doesn't know about this or why the judiciary hasn't stopped using it as irrefutable evidence.

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