DNA forensics, organ transplant... Can you think of some examples?
The Innocence Project is an organization that uses DNA testing to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals. The techniques of DNA fingerprinting and genotyping explained in 7.00x are the basis for the DNA testing done. DNA fingerprinting can more reliably exclude a person as a suspect than establish their guilt because it is easier to detect DNA differences than to be sure that all DNA sequences are identical. As a result, DNA fingerprinting is more likely to establish a person’s innocence than to establish their guilt.
The Innocence Project has led to now the exoneration of more than 300 people, including 17 people on death row who were found to be absolutely innocent. This is possible thanks to the use of molecular biology to look at evidence that had not been analyzed by molecular biology, but it is possible to to so now...
Eric Lander PhD, Geneticist, Member -- as well as worldwide famous writer of legal thrillers John Grisham! -- of "The Innocence Project": Now I was actually delighted that about a month ago [in Apr. 2013] the federal government announced that the Department of Justice and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology would be starting a collaboration to set up groups who would help us steer standards in these areas. Anyway, it's not to say that these aren't powerful things. They are powerful things. But it is to say, and I'll say it quite explicitly, that they are misused routinely. We do not have good standards for these things."
There's no way to have an informed social discussion without scientistsgetting involved...
Should there be a national or international database of everyone’s DNA fingerprint for use in forensics? Why or why not?
Such a database would be standing more on the side of convicting or framing people. Yet, the technology -- DNA fingerprints -- does a better job in pointing out "false positive". That is: proving that some convicted person is actually innocent. There appears to be a kind of a paradox here. How can we solve it? About genetic relatedness: children of a criminal should not appear in convicted DNA database. Such a database would have to do a better job in pointing out "false positive" cases.
A "false positive" is a great injustice to a person in life.