CSI Fraud: researchers craft fake DNA evidence

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CSI Fraud: researchers craft fake DNA evidence

Postby Gerry » 08/21/09, 7:27 pm

Researchers have demonstrated it's possible to remove all the DNA from samples like blood and saliva, and replace it with genetic material from a different individual—even when the only source of this material is a used cigarette butt. Their methodology was good enough to fool a lab that does crime-scene DNA testing.

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/200 ... ch-lab.ars

First found out about this through Schneier's blog ( http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2 ... g_dna.html ), which really is fantastically interesting on a very regular basis:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/
Gerry
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Postby bob » 08/21/09, 9:23 pm

wow...
WYSIWTF
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Postby JohnT » 08/21/09, 11:16 pm

Fortunately, in identifying the problem, the researchers have come up with a solution. DNA inside human cells picks up a chemical modification called methylation; DNA amplified in a test tube doesn't. It's possible to determine whether or not a given stretch of DNA has been methylated using standard lab techniques, although these are a bit laborious and time-consuming, and it's the sort of technique that hasn't made its way into forensic training yet. Still, testing for methylation in a DNA sample should provide an important quality control on the sample—at least until biologists figure out how to apply methylation in a controlled manner.

It would be tempting to view this as an arms race between the sophistication of fabrication and forensic techniques
"A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married."
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Postby Gerry » 08/22/09, 7:01 pm

LOL, yeah John, I didn't miss that either.

I wonder if these researchers were the first to know about this or if this is something that a lot of those inside the industry have been aware of for a long time.
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