Forensic Chemistry > 4. DNA is an important compound found in all living things and is a most useful identification molecule > The Uses of DNA Analysis >
Analyse information to discuss the range of uses of DNA analysis in forensic chemistry and use available evidence in discussing the issues associated with its use in terms of the ethics of maintenance of data banks of DNA
Uses of DNA Analysis in Forensic Chemistry
- Identification of individuals involved in criminal cases such as murder, rape and terrorism
- Helps in identification of victim and/or convict
- Helps in identification of unknown/known body parts
- For assessment if a specie is human or not
- For determination of biological bonds between the involved people
- Helps in the analysis of the archaeological remains for the studies of evolutionary history of animals and plants
- Verification of biological relationship between family members and relatives who are involved, for example, in tragic incident overseas, thereby giving the family members the right to claim or bring back home the involved individual/s.
DNA databanks (Data database)
- Are collection of DNA profiles of convicted criminals along with the unidentified people from crime scenes.
- Gives information about the possible correlation of samples collected from the crime scene with that of in the database, thus helping to solve criminal cases
- The comparison of samples collected from the crime scene with that in database in order to identify the source of sample are commonly done by law enforcement authorities.
DNA databanks: Ethical and Social concerns
- Privacy invasion – The idea of databanks can give more information compared to fingerprinting DNA analysis, revealing some more personal aspects of a person and their family such as susceptibility to health problems and inherited genetic diseases
- Genetic discrimination – may be expressed by government, employers, schools and more
- Employers, if do have access to DNA databanks, may deny employment to people with high-risk diseases or illnesses
- Insurance companies can use statistics to calculate life expectancies based on Databanks information, and therefore can be used to deny insurance
- Alteration of Record – the personal file information of an individual can be tampered which could lead to erroneous case comparison analysis