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

NCJ Number
Date Published
National Institute of Justice
Publication Series
NIJ Issues and Practices in Criminal Justice
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 Created: November 26, 2000