Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Holy cunting fuck!

Once again via the dizzmeister, a real fucking shocker:

The NY Times reports,
Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.
This news doesn't just undermine DNA usage in crime investigation, it also undermines any claim to the protection of identity through the use of DNA. If you can somehow gain access to a DNA profile then you could, in theory, create the means to pass yourself off as that person.


Fucking hell, is that seriously fucking scary or what? Does that render every single DNA-justified conviction unsound? I bet the filth are shitting themselves about this one!

20 comments:

Clive said...

No - they will deny that their is a problem - like with ID cards. Sigh.

clive said...

s/their/there/

Bucket of Tongues said...

I told you you weren't my child.

mister_choos said...

Plod will love it. Cook up a bit of DNA plant it and it'll be another poor fucker stitched up. It will take along time for juries to believe DNA is fallible

Sean O'Hare said...

It shouldn't be a problem as far as investigation/detection is concerned, but it could have a profound impact where conviction has been (or would have been!) obtained largely on DNA evidence.

Anonymous said...

This is bollocks. There is no story here. Gene amplification is not some new technology that has just been invented. If plod wanted to do this they would have done so. Lets get serious for a minute. Do you honestly believe the average rapist is going to get himself a lab so he an cook up someone elses genome? Fuck me some people are gullible.

here read all about it yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_amplification

JuliaM said...

It was always bound to happen.

Though, why go to all the trouble of fabricating it? It's not like we don't shed DNA all over the place anyway...

Fred Z said...

Best news ever. With perfect identification the totalitarians were going to win.

sobers said...

If this became an actual defence in court, and people were starting to be aquitted as a result it would be the death knell of 'innocent until proven guilty'. Because all the govt would do is put the burden of proof on the accused to prove the DNA evidence is faked rather than the Crown having to prove it is genuine. Making it easy for the State to fit up whoever they like.

Sean O'Hare said...

@Anon 17:38

If plod wanted to do this they would have done so.

How can you be so surethat they haven't?

Scott Gordon said...

Biology 101. Non secretors will not produce DNA in saliva samples. But for the other 85% of the population yes, worrying.

bayard said...

"what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases" Typical journalese. AFAIK (and admittedly that's not very far) those who really know about DNA sampling admit it's not infallible. It just has high probabilities of being correct. Just like there's a very low probability of anyone having access to the sort of resources necessary to repeat the Israeli scientists' work.
However bald assertions sell newspapers. Carefully weighed probabilities don't. I, for one, am not worried.

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

A get out of jail free card for you Obo!

Barking Spider said...

There have always been plenty of bent coppers to plant "evidence" so now DNA is no different - oh.... joy!

Leg-iron said...

If you have a little bit of DNA and you want to make a lot more of it, the most expensive part of the kit you need is a thermal cycler.

Brand new, this will cost around £3000. Second hand ones are much cheaper and are available because labs like to buy new kit. Older models are sitting in cupboards all over the place and could probably be had for free just to save the space.

The rest costs peanuts because it's all mass produced now.

Even buying new, for no more than £5k you could be set up to make massive amounts of DNA copies. Although you'd be better, for fitting someone up, to use RAPD which is cheaper and produces lots of bits of different parts of the genome all at once.

Of course, you'd need to know how it all works. There's a considerable time investment involved. So rapists won't be doing this to frame someone else for their crimes.

If you were a government though, you'd already have a controlled lab with trained and indoctrinated staff. This would be a very cheap way to 'dispose' of certain inconvenient people.

With a well-funded lab, you don't even need the DNA. You just need the sequence from a database. Then you can fabricate any DNA sequence from its component chemicals and it will match exactly. It would be very difficult to tell whether that DNA came from a living person or a test tube.

So, imagine you're a dodgy government, you have a lab, and you have everyone's DNA sequence on file.

One and two are already here. Three is under way.

But hey, nothing to hide, nothing to fear, right?

bayard said...

@Leg-iron - From what you say, it sounds as this isn't exactly news, so presumably anyone who's been wanting to create false DNA samples and has the ability to do so has been doing so for years. Why is anyone surprised/alarmed?
The only people who should be bothered are those who were peddling DNA testing s an infallible system (which it never was), such as the bunch of paranoids in the Home Office who want us all to carry ID cards (ID cards, the criminal's friend - change of identity was never so easy).

Leg-iron said...

Bayard, it's twenty-year-old technology. It's now so well mechanised that it doesn't take a lifetime of study to do it, just enough training in the methods. A decent PhD or Masters student could do it and would have ready access to the equipment.

The best equipment is so thoroughly computerised that you just need to give it the sequence and it'll make the DNA for you while you sleep. Of course, we're talking serious money now.

Starting from a DNA sample is easy. Starting from a written sequence and building the DNA from scratch is more difficult and more expensive.

But it can be done.

There was a scare a few years back when someone published the DNA sequence for the polio virus online. The basis of the scare was that any well-funded lab could use the information to synthesise the polio virus from scratch.

The entire human genome was mapped a few years back. You don't need to reconstruct the whole thing for any individual. Just enough of the bits that are on the database to get a match.

Frankly, if you have access to a modern lab and trained staff who are paid to keep quiet, plus a record of the required sequence, fitting someone up with DNA evidence is a piece of piss, and has been for quite some time.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

I expect The State has paid him to find it out, so they now know how to fit up people...such as libertarian bolgers for instance....

dearieme said...

Not in time to save Bill Clinton though.

Chalcedon said...

Yes, but you need a DNA synthesiser to do it and they ain't cheap and neither are the reagents.