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 Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>