Aug 12, 2019

Police can now use millions more people’s DNA to find criminals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

By Chelsea Whyte

Policing power may be about to get much stronger, thanks to another advance in genetic analysis. A new technique can link the patchy, limited DNA information held in forensic databases to the rich DNA libraries held by family tree-building websites, raising further questions about genetic privacy.

Earlier this year, an ancestry database used by people looking to trace their family history was used to identify the suspected Golden State Killer, a serial killer active in California decades ago. Since his arrest in April, genealogy databases – which allow consumers to upload their DNA sequences – have been used to crack several other cold cases.

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