Genetic profiling: CSI edition

By Razib Khan | January 22, 2012 11:09 pm

Apparently the national media is reporting that scientific genealogy may result in leads to a cold case. The principle is simple: apparently Y chromosomal material was matched to public genealogy databases. From this the researcher concluded that the perpetrator is probably a male line descendant of Robert Fuller of Salem, Massachusetts. Contrary to the urban legends it does not seem that false paternity rates are much higher than ~1 percent in many societies (for example).

CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger have covered this story in detail, so I won’t go much further in this specific case. But as more and more people get typed and sequenced I suspect that genetic material is going to be more and more “actionable.” What long term effects will this have? Will criminals start taking precautions?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Genetics, Genomics, Personal Genomics
MORE ABOUT: Personal genomics

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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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