Making Sense of DNA Genetics – #AAFS2017 – Epigenetics is mentioned

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This is a primer-level (being in a brochure format) look on the subject and has some gaps as far as interpretation of DNA partial profiles and mixtures but admits that, even with algorithmic software, there still is human interpretation in any ‘match.’

On page 15 of the .pdf,  bitemarks are chastised as being a forensic ‘science’ that has no agreement amongst its ‘experts.’ Tell that to the American Academy of Sciences and NIST spinoff FSAB that still certifies them. It’s 2017 president is a bitemarker.

This work is for mostly lay-people and crime beginners, and has useful stories, explanations, graphics and language about a very broad subject matter. There are direct references to actual forensic applications through case narratives.

The authors are all top drawer scientific academics in their disciplines.

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A bit of a counter-point to some of the above.

Now lets take a look at ‘epigenetics’ which is taking things about DNA to levels that are thrilling and as yet scientifically and socially precarious, according to some other trusted names in science and the law. What’s clear to me is that commercial labs and LEOs are drooling at the chance to take some college research papers to the courtroom. This article says all these facets of microbiome  (your bacteria, fungi, and viruses), DNA phenotyping  (what you look like) and personal environmental data (your contact with chemicals) will land in courts “none in the near future.” Considering how slow the law is in deciding what is junk expertise (it took decades for bitemarks to even get criticized in state courts), this palette of new tests might sneak in somewhere with nary of a whimper. I base this on how fast the US government is now demolishing climate change science in favor of pro-Big Energy lobbyists.

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About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in AAFS, ABFO, criminal justice reform, DNA mixtures, DNA profiling and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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