University Libraries.

Focus on Forensics: Advanced DNA Fingerprinting

DNA Lab.jpgA local murder case hinges on a controversial new DNA fingerprinting method, probabilistic genotyping, which uses specialized software to analyze low-quality and mixed DNA samples. While courts in Virginia, California and Pennsylvania have accepted this technique as evidence, it has yet to be used in a New York courtroom. Critics claim that the software has not been properly vetted because the company which developed has been secretive about how it works. Despite concerns, however, the State Comission on Forensic Science has approved the technology for casework and the State Police is poised to implement it in their crime lab.

Articles exploring the science, ethics and efficacy of probabilistic genetics and other advances in DNA fingerprinting can be found in databases like Criminal Justice Abstracts and Criminal Justice Periodicals Index and Westlaw. The University Libraries has a subscription to the Journal of Forensic Sciences, an excellent source for scientific articles on this topic.

The Libraries also has many books on DNA fingerprinting, which can be found by searching Minerva:
Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Typing: Methodology by John M. Butler. Walthan, MA: Elsevier/Academic Press, c2012. Science Library / RA 1057.55 B87 2012.

Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing by John M. Butler. Amsterdam, [The Netherlands] ; Boston, MA : Academic Press/Elsevier, c2010. Science Library / RA 1057.55 B883 2010.

Tracing Technologies: Prisoners’ Views in the Era of CSI by Helena Machado, Barbara Prainsack. Farnham, Surrey; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, c2012. Dewey Library / HV 8073 M2192 2012.

A Litigator’s Guide to DNA: From the Laboratory to the Courtroom by Ron C. Michaelis, Robert G. Flanders, Jr. and Paula H. Wulff. Amsterdam; Boston, MA: Elsevier Academic Press, c2008. Dewey Library / KF 9666.5 M53 2008.

Who They Were: Inside the World Trade Center DNA Story: The Unprecedented Effort to Identify the Missing by Robert C. Shaler. New York: Free Press, c2005. Dewey Library / RA 1057.55 S53 2005.

For more information on DNA fingerprinting and other topics in criminal justice, contact Subject librarian Dick Irving at 442-3698 or

Post created by Cary Gouldin

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