10 September 2009

A quarter of a century of DNA "fingerprints"

The DNA identification method is 25 years old
BBCProfessor Sir Alec Jeffries made this discovery on September 10, 1984 in the laboratory of the University of the English city of Leicester.

Like many other great discoveries, genetic identification was born by chance, as a by-product of another study. Scientists at the Leicester Laboratory have been studying one of the new methods for tracking genetic abnormalities in chromosomal DNA. And suddenly Jeffries, looking at how much samples of samples of different people differ, realized that this is a ready–made method for effective identification of a person, a kind of "fingerprint" that remains individual and unchanged all his life.

Since then, DNA analysis has been used to solve a variety of crimes, as well as to establish paternity and solve many other tasks related to identification. Last year alone, 17614 crimes were solved worldwide using DNA analysis, including 83 murders and 184 rapes.

A DNA fingerprint as a stigma?However, the spread of this method has led to controversy over whose data should be stored in the nationwide British database of DNA "fingerprints".

"Innocent people have nothing to do with this database," said Sir Alec Jeffries in an interview on the occasion of the anniversary of his discovery.

At the moment, the British DNA database contains data on more than 5 million people, which is 40% more than two years ago.

Professor Jeffries is calling on the British government to change the law governing DNA databases, especially with regard to the DNA fingerprints of tens of thousands of people against whom no charges have been brought. "My position is simple," Alec Jeffries told the BBC. – Information about innocent people should not be stored in this database. If we treat everyone as potential criminals, it won't help us reduce the crime rate."

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru10.09.2009

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