The DNA revolution and forensic futures

Carole McCartney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In just the last 25 years, forensic DNA profiling use has grown exponentially and its spread is now global (Interpol, 2008). In 2009 it secured its place as the standard bearer for forensic sciences, being cast as the ‘gold standard’ by the august body, the US National Academy of Sciences (NRCNA, 2009). Juries no longer need to be convinced of the accuracy or reliability of DNA evidence, indeed the concern is now that juries may be far too easily persuaded by DNA, or may even demand it before they will convict (the ‘CSI effect’). With DNA profiling securely embedded in both police practice and popular culture, the frontiers of genetic science are now being pushed ever further in the quest to find the Holy Grail: the perfect crime-fighting tool. With the uses of DNA in crime investigation having expanded dramatically, the ongoing quest to achieve ever greater utility from DNA has not yet abated. Just three areas of development are outlined below: phenotyping of forensic crime scene samples; universal DNA databases; and finding the criminal ‘gene’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-27
Number of pages2
JournalCriminal Justice Matters
Issue number1
Early online date8 Sept 2010
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


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