NZ Herald: Global DNA search a step closer, says expert

With the visit of international expert Dr Peter Gill, Eloise Gibson of the New Zealand Herald reports on the growing use of DNA profiling in forensics, and a future where DNA profiles can be searched through internationally using Google-like methods.

She also writes about DNA profiling specifically in New Zealand, the unhelpfulness of the ‘CSI-effect’, and current progress being made.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Asked if CSI had helped juries understand DNA evidence, Dr Gill said it had done the opposite. Instead, it had created a wrong perception that if someone’s DNA was found on the scene they must be guilty, he said.

“ESR’s Dr Sally Ann Harbison said the “CSI-effect” had created unrealistic expectations about what forensic scientists could do.

“In other developments, Dr Gill said scientists were working hard to link physical characteristics such as hair, skin and eye colour to DNA markers – possibly giving police a partial description of someone whose DNA was found at a crime scene.”