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The controversial company using DNA to sketch the faces of criminals

Two people wearing orange tinted goggles, lab coats and gloves use a UV torch to find traces of DNA on a piece of fabric

Traces of crime-scene DNA have been matched to suspects using genealogy databases. Credit: Jochen Tack/imageBROKER/Alamy

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Nature 585, 178-181 (2020)


Updates & Corrections

  • Correction 23 September 2020: An earlier version of this Feature erred in saying the Golden State Killer case was solved using data from two second cousins; they were distant cousins. It also mistakenly said that the assault of Margaret Orlando would have been a crowning achievement for the company, as the first active case that it had helped to solve. In fact, Parabon had helped to solve other active cases — this was the first to contravene the GEDMatch terms of use. Finally, the story stated that the restrictions on GEDMatch data forced Parabon to return to an earlier business strategy of using DNA to reconstruct faces. However, Parabon says that the restrictions were a temporary setback and didn’t significantly affect its business.


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