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The Future Potential of DNA Fingerprinting

The Tremendous Potential of DNA Fingerprinting

Abstract; This paper explors the effects DNA fingerprinting has had on the trial courts and legal institutions. Judge Joseph Harris states that it is the “single greatest advance in the search for truth since the advent of the cross examination (Gest, 1988).” And I tend to agree with Judge Joseph’s assertion, but with the invention and implementation of DNA profiling and technology has come numerous problems. This paper will explore: how DNA evidence was introduced into the trial courts, the effects of DNA evidence on the jury system and the future of DNA evidence in the trial courts.

Any new technology being introduced into the scientific community is ususally received with great skepticism. Billings states ” The use of fingerprinting for identification purposes was developed early in this century and has gained widespread acceptance. After its introduction, 20 years passed before the technique had been widely studied and validated, at least enough to gain general judicial acceptance (2).” DNA like fingerprinting was not initially widely excepted in either the judicial or scientific communities. The Frye standard though has been used to effectively introduce “novel” scientific evidence like DNA evidence into the trial courts.

Baird states ” Frye was a 1923 Washington DC case which disallowed the admissibility of polygraph(lie detector) evidence (62).” The Frye standard states:

Just when a scientific principle or discovery crosses the line between the experimental and demonstratable stages is difficult to define. Somewhere in this twilight zone the evidential forces of the principle must be recognized and while courts will go a long way in ad…

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…is apparently here to say.

Works Cited

Billings, Paul R. DNA on Trial: Genetic Identification and Criminal Justice. California: Cold Spring Laboratory Press, 1992.

Cornelius, Ronda. “DNA-Evidence Finagling Delays Trials.” Missourian

“DNA Evidence Gaining More Acceptance.” USA Today August 1995 15.

Easteal, McCleod, and Reed. DNA Profiling: Principles, Pitfalls and Potential. Switzerland: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1991.

Gest, Ted. ” DNA “Fingerprinting ” is Facing a Major Legal Challenge from Defense Attorneys and Civil Libertarians.”

U.S. News

The Controversy of Genetically Modified Crops

The Controversy of Genetically Modified Crops

You may know about the emerging field of biotechnology – the medicine, the ethics, the DNA, the Human Genome, etc. But few realize the emergence of its agricultural branch, and the international conflict that has arisen from it. It may apply to you more than you thought, for half of the soybean products and a quarter of the corn you ate in 1999 may have been genetically modified (Kaufman A6). Genetically modified crops (commonly referred to as GMOs) are crops whose characteristics have been altered to produce a favorable trait, whether it be prolonged freshness, a more attractive appearance, or pesticide resistance (Activist 1). Genetic alteration is the act of inserting a gene, which contains specific DNA (usually from another species), into an organism so that it will produce a protein to create a specific trait. Many have argued over the ethical appropriateness of the issue, but this time new concerns come into view. Many consumers all over the world are worried about human safety, environmental preservation, and international trade.

Arguments between the United States and the European Union (EU) have dominated the controversy. And seeing as that the economies of the two systems combined make up about half of the entire world’s economy, it is important to try to quell it as soon as possible (External Relations 1). British uncertainty over human safety of GMOs stemmed a ban on all GM production (excluding experimental growth) and on certain GMO imports (U.S. Department of State 1). Its use of the “precautionary principle,” which does not allow the full commercialization of GMOs in the EU until they are substantially scientifically proven to be…

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…ticle.” E-mail to Kate Pielemeier. “Genetically Modified Crops Feed Ongoing Controversy.” The Journal of the American Medical Association. v.283 i2 p.188. InfoTrac Web: Health Reference Center-Academic. 12 Jan. 2000.

8. Rusting, Rick. “Moving Against Malnutrition.” Scientific American. 71. Sept. 2000.


9. “Sticky Labels.” Science and Technology. Ottawa. 29 Apr. 1999. 18

Dec. 2000.

10. “The EU’s relations with the US.” External Relations. 18 Dec. 2000.

11. Thompson, Larry. “thesis article.” E-mail to Kate Pielemeier. “Are Bioengineered

Foods Safe?” FDA Consumer. v34 i1 p.18. InfoTrac Web: Health Reference Center-Academic. U.S. Government Printing Office. 2000. Jan. 2000.

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