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Scientists Say New DNA Testing Will Eliminate False Positive Results

Posted on in DuPage County criminal defense attorney
Scientists have developed a new sensitive testing method for detecting specific sequences of DNA. The process, developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, was recently published in Chemistry of Materials, which is a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

This new DNA testing is much less expensive than other DNA analysis currently in use and does not require pricy equipment to perform. In fact, only one common piece of laboratory equipment, a fluorimeter, is needed. Thus, this makes testing in the field possible. The results are also obtained very quickly with this new test, allowing for the ability of analysis right at a crime scene.

The scientist who developed the test says it can be used for all types of DNA testing, including medical diagnostics and forensic testing. The process can also be used to detect biological agents used in terrorism.

Lead researcher and physical chemist Mircea Cotlet described the process: The sensors we’ve developed use a light-absorbing polymer to amplify the fluorescent signal of a dye that emits light only when it binds between two matched pieces of DNA.

The process itself is simple. Both samples are put in a test tube in order to find out if one DNA sample is a match to another DNA sample. The special fluorescent dye is added, along with polymer (special molecules) and then the test tube is put under florescent lights. According to Cotlet, the process can detect any mismatches between the bases that make up the rungs of the twisted-ladder DNA double helix molecule. The testing is so specific that it ultimately eliminates false positives.

Despite advances, error in DNA testing in criminal cases continues to be a problem, causing many false criminal charges and false convictions. Issues such as mistakes in the labeling of samples, accidental transfer of other genetic material to the sample, or the misreading of test results can all lead to a person being convicted of a crime they did not commit – all based on DNA results.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney to make sure that your constitutional rights are protected in the courtroom.
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