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Crimes often go unsolved because of lack of evidence or the inability to prove that a particular person was at the scene of the crime. But technology is changing the way law enforcement solves crimes. Now genetics can help in solving crimes, even cold cases. While DNA can be traced through a number of online sources, it is also controversial because of privacy laws.

Using genetics to solve crimes stirs up controversy For example, there is no proof that someone’s genetic makeup would make them more likely to commit a serious crime. According to The Personal Genetic Education Project (pgED,) “there is no genetic variant that has been perfectly correlated with aggressive behavior.” The is controversial since “the possibility has been raised of using an individual’s genetic makeup to predict his or her likelihood of committing crime.”

Specific DNA, however, can help tie an individual to a crime scene. What can start off as a simple DNA search in an online database, can turn into concrete evidence to help law enforcement solve a case. DNA analysis is being used to solve cold cases as well. The process also elicits a controversial reaction because it infringes on privacy laws.

Commercial DNA testing sites are also being used in criminal cases. These are websites that allow people to voluntarily send in DNA samples in exchange for information about their genetics and family tree. In some cases, their DNA can help identify a relative linked to a particular crime scene. But is this an invasion of privacy?

According to Science News, there are people who disagree with using DNA searches because it violates privacy laws. While using familial searches to help solve cases is controversial, it is only used to help solve horrendous crimes. Rapes, murders and kidnapping are being solved using this technology.

After decades of unanswered questions and insufficient evidence to convict, cold cases are now being reopened with new leads, and sometimes being solved, with the help of new technology. Running DNA evidence through a growing federal database, law enforcement is able to link a person to the scene of the crime.

Genetics and DNA testing provide new hope to families who are seeking justice and closure in murder and kidnapping cases.

Personal Genetic Education Project

Science News