January 17, 1993
It's interesting that people who support DNA testing are prosecutors, expert witnesses for prosecutors and people who own testing laboratories. Those who oppose it are scientists with good credentials. As a scientist--a pharmacologist--I believe that lawyers and police officers desperately want science to produce a magic bullet that will ferret out criminals. Unfortunately, many of those justice officials will grasp at any technology if they believe that it will help them win convictions.
March 20, 2000
Last week a British biotechnology firm called Genostic Pharma filed a patent application for its version of a cutting-edge medical device called a DNA chip. DNA chips are fabricated from human genes, rather than silicon as in the case of computer chips. They are essentially electronic sensors used in laboratories to analyze samples of a patient's DNA and spot abnormal gene fragments that could predispose the individual to disease. DNA chips in themselves are not new. In Silicon Valley, Affymetrix Inc. has developed a chip that can detect whether people have genes predisposing them toward some types of cancer, thus giving them a potentially lifesaving chance to limit that risk through regular medical checkups and dietary changes.
May 13, 2009 |
Paul House, a Tennessee death row inmate, was just one vote away from possible execution when a divided Supreme Court said three years ago that new DNA evidence called for reopening his case. The Tennessee Supreme Court already had rejected his appeals, as had the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2009 |
DNA evidence has gone untested in more than 800 rape and sexual assault cases even though detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other smaller agencies have no suspects in those crimes, authorities acknowledged Tuesday. The number is far larger than officials had anticipated and revealed a breakdown in the way the Sheriff's Department went about testing genetic evidence until recent reforms were enacted.
April 17, 2004 |
A man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit has been pardoned by the North Carolina governor and could be eligible for $360,000 in compensation. "I'm ecstatic about the pardon and I'm very thankful to the governor ... and all the people who supported me," Darryl Hunt said Friday, the day after Gov. Mike Easley issued the pardon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2006 |
With state officials 14 months behind in putting DNA evidence into a database, Los Angeles police detectives are having a tougher time identifying suspects in hundreds of violent crimes, including five that apparently involve serial killers, officials said Monday. The City Council's Public Safety Committee criticized the backlog and recommended that the full council call on the state to catch up on entering DNA samples into the database.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2007 |
A judge said Tuesday that Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend at the time of her death might be forced to give DNA for a test to determine the father of her 6-month-old daughter, according to lawyers at the hearing. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert A. Schnider denied a motion by Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead asking that Smith's companion, Howard K.
January 18, 2013 |
Worried that your genetic information could be revealed? You should be, says Harvard geneticist George Church. But it doesn't have to keep you from participating in genetic studies. DNA privacy has been a subject of concern this week, as a team of geneticists reported Thursday in the journal Science that it was able to figure out the names of people who had donated their DNA to research -- even though test subjects' identities were stripped from their genomic data. Using information posted to genealogy websites and other publicly available Internet resources, the Whitehead Institute researchers were able to ferret out the names of nearly 50 people, suggesting that it may be easier than many had previously believed for a motivated hacker to match a test subject's DNA to his or her identity.
April 25, 2012 |
Children who are exposed to violence experience wear and tear to their DNA that is similar to that seen in aging, according to a new study that may help explain why they face a heightened risk of mental and physical disorders as adults. In a long-term study of 118 pairs of identical twins, researchers at Duke University found that boys and girls who had experienced violence had shorter genetic structures called telomeres than youngsters who had more peaceful upbringings. The children in the former group had been physically abused by an adult or bullied frequently, or had witnessed domestic violence between the ages of 5 and 10. And the more types of violence a child had experienced, the faster his or her telomeres eroded, said study leader Idan Shalev, who published the findings Tuesday in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2009 |
The Los Angeles Police Department has cut in half the backlog of untested DNA evidence from rapes and sexual assaults, according to police figures. In late 2008, amid increasing pressure from victims' rights groups and elected officials, LAPD officials acknowledged that nearly 7,500 evidence kits collected from rape and sexual assault victims were languishing in storage freezers, never having been analyzed. At the time, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief William J. Bratton vowed to address the issue, setting aside funds to help the department outsource the evidence to private laboratories at a faster pace and to bolster the department's own understaffed laboratory.