Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Single nucleotide polymorphisms and forensic genetics, maybe not such a perfect combination

21.10.2004


Forensic genetics is the branch of genetics that, through DNA analysis and comparison, deals with the resolution of legal problems such as paternity tests. Recently, it has been proposed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could be used as a new genetic marker in the field eventually even replacing the methods/markers now employed. But in an article just published online in Forensic Science International, a team of scientists challenges the effectiveness of SNPs in kinship studies predicting an increase in inconclusive cases when these markers are used.

In forensic genetics, DNA samples are analysed through the comparison of particular DNA sequences unique to each individual. In fact, although more than 99% of the genome is the same across the human population, variations in DNA sequence called polymorphisms can be used to both differentiate and correlate individuals.

Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) are the genetic markers most commonly used in this moment by forensic scientists. STRs consist of repetitive segments of DNA two to five nucleotides (DNA building blocks) length found throughout the genome with different individuals having different STRs combinations.



Recently however, another type of genetic marker called SPNs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), which consists in DNA sequence variations that result from alterations in a single nucleotide in the genome sequence, has been considered to replace STRs in forensic investigations. SNPs seem to have several advantages over STRs as not only they are a more stable genetic marker and so are less likely to be lost across generations which is crucial in paternity cases, but they are also cheaper, easier and faster to examine and need much smaller DNA samples.

But now António Amorim and Luísa Pereira at IPATIMUP (Institute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology, Porto University, Portugal) and the Faculty of Sciences of the same university show that SNPs analysis can also have some problems. In fact, the two scientists used statistic simulations to compare STRs and SNPs effectiveness in kinship studies and reached the unexpected conclusion that the possibility of inconclusive results is much higher when using SNPs. Amorim and Pereira’s work question the validity of SNP polymorphisms sole use in routine paternity investigations and raise the need for a proper assessment of this technique before any decisions are make.

Piece researched and written by: Catarina Amorim (catarina.amorim@linacre.ox.ac.uk)

Catarina Amorim | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>