DNA Fingerprinting

U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu
Thu Jul 21 18:05:46 EST 1994


I just read a very interesting book called "DNA Fingerprinting" by
Christopher Lampton.

It's nice and easy reading for the layman in explaining the
technique and it's very interesting history.  It also covers the
main points of the debate on this technique as used by the
courts.... from the Castro case, Frye analysis, and possible
contamination problems (as well as a problem of "band-shifting").

I think *the* single most interesting piece of information offered
in the book was in reference to the two main companies which
preformed this technique for the various court cases - Lifecodes
and Cellmark.  In the earlier cases where the DNA Fingerprinting
was thrown out, 'sloppy' lab techniques were cited as the reasons.
As I previously posted, new standards and guidelines were much need
and labs then became accredited.

However, according to this book, on p.72....

     "Unfortunately, most of the techniques used by companies
     such as Lifecodes and Cellmark are proprietary - that is,
     the companies have patented the techniques so that no one
     else can use them and profit financially from them.  As
     a result, it is virtually impossible to standardize the
     techniques."

Well, that pretty much settles the matter for me.  No wonder we
have so much controversy on this subject (and very little in the
way of published journal articles on the exact methods used)?

Oh well!

-Kathy



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