Forensic Database Challenge Over Ethics of DNA Holdings

June 15, 2021

(Nature) – The YHRD, which was first released online in 2000, is now widely used across the world to help solve sex crimes and settle paternity cases. Holding more than 300,000 anonymous Y-chromosome profiles, it shows how particular genetic markers are fingerprints of male lineages in more than 1,300 distinct global populations. It can point to the likely geographic origin of mystery males, as in the Kollum case, but is now more often relied on to calculate the weight of evidence against a male suspect whose Y-chromosome DNA profile matches traces found at a crime scene. Although the YHRD is a research database, scientists both from academia and crime laboratories have uploaded data to it, and it has become a key tool for prosecutors and defence lawyers. (Read Full Article)