Explore BrainMass

Forensic Science; how fool-proof are certain forensic tests

Question 1:
The O.J. Simpson trial highlighted the importance of proper evidence handling and sample processing. Despite overwhelming DNA evidence connecting Simpson to the double murder, the jury in his criminal trial acquitted him. Do you agree or disagree with their verdict? Why?

Question 2:
The sex of an individual can be determined using the amelogenin gene which returns different allele sizes present on the X (106 base pairs) and Y (112 base pairs) chromosomes.

A) You are typing a crime scene blood sample for sex and get only the 106 base pair band on your gel. What are your conclusions?

B) You are typing another sample and get only the 112 bp band on your gel? What can you determine about the sex of this individual?

C) What are some possible sources of error in genetic sex typing based on the amelogenin gene?

Solution Preview


What interesting questions.

QUESTION 1: This proper way to answer this question is to state your opinion and then support that opinion based on knowledge gained in your course. There is no right or wrong answer, as to whether you agree or disagree with the verdict, however, to get full credit you need to fully support your opinion.

If you agree with the verdict you could support your opinion a few ways. 1) You could agree with the acquittal based on the importance of evidence handling and sample processing. If you have any examples from your course or text about how improper evidence handling or sample processing led to wrong conclusions you should cite them. 2) Alternatively, you could agree with the acquittal based on the fact that DNA evidence on its own is not foolproof enough to convict someone. Here you can support your opinion with ...

Solution Summary

In this solution I resolve questions about forensic testing accuracy, specifically looking at the O.J. Simpson trial as a case study and the amelogenin gene test.