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DNA goes to court

This article has been updated

DNA profiling is playing a growing role in solving crimes, identifying victims of natural and unnatural disasters and even tracking diplomats. Some forensic experts are looking to advances in genome technologies to gain further ground against criminals.

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Figure 1: Forty shades of color.
Figure 2: STR profiles.

Fluorescent yield

Figure 3: Blue marks the criminal.
Figure 4: Locations of national DNA databases.

Change history

  • 21 December 2012

    In the version of this article initially published, on p. 1050, column 1, Illumina's MiSeq platform was said to require 50 ng of DNA input. When used in conjunction with the company's Nextera XT DNA Sample Preparation Kit, however, it requires 1 ng. The legend for Figure 1 referred to “blue” eye color, even though the figure also showed brown eyes, and stated that 40 different shades of blue eye color are determined by IrisPlex system. The system is not limited to blue eye color. A typo in the Figure 4 legend “pperational” has been corrected to “operational.” The errors have been corrected for the print, PDF and HTML versions of this article.


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SS received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ottowa, Canada.

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Smith, C., Strauss, S. & DeFrancesco, L. DNA goes to court. Nat Biotechnol 30, 1047–1053 (2012).

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