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Future of Forensic DNA Testing: Predictions of the Research and Development Working Group

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2000
93 pages
This report attempts to predict where DNA technology will be in 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years.
Although the report looks to the future, it emphasizes that current state-of-the-art DNA typing methodology and statistical methods are accurate and reproducible. The report predicts that: (1) STRs (Short Tandem Repeats) will be the predominant procedure during the next decade; (2) miniature chips will make possible DNA analysis at the crime scene, with results telemetered to databases for possible immediate identification; (3) other systems will be developed, but they will be supplements to, not replacements for, STRs; (4) mitochondrial DNA will probably play an increasing role in difficult cases involving minute amounts of DNA or DNA that is badly degraded; (5) databases of DNA profiles of convicted felons will be extensive and coordinated throughout the States and international comparisons will be feasible and increasingly common; (6) in light of the reliability of distinguishing among individuals, including relatives as close as siblings, a convention may be adopted that will allow a sufficiently low match probability to be regarded as identification, but regards that as a legal and social, not scientific, definition; and (7) an increasing number of suspects will be identified by database searches. Notes, tables, references, abbreviations and acronyms, glossary

Date Published: November 1, 2000