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DNA fingerprinting has had an enormous technological impact on society. This IQP seeks to describe this effect and demonstrate its magnitude in several ways. First, the procedures for performing DNA fingerprints are explained. Next, methods for effectively collecting and storing DNA samples are described. Then, an analysis of landmark DNA courtcases reveals how this subject has changed the legal system by setting standards for viable evidence. Two sensational DNA courtcases then show the power that DNA fingerprinting has on the outcome of trials, perhaps even decades after the crime has been committed. Finally, a discussion of the ethics of DNA databases takes place, and the authors draw conclusions about this powerful and expanding technology.
- This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
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