DNA Software in the Courts and the Future

As anyone who has ever watched CSI can tell you, DNA is well established as the gold standard when it comes to crime solving. Linking the tiniest shreds of DNA evidence together, forensic investigators are able to provide indisputable proof that ties bad guys to the crime or frees the good guys who were in the wrong place at the wrong time—all within an hour so that the CSI team can get ready for next week’s episode.

If only real life was that easy. While there’s no denying the importance of DNA in successfully identifying criminals or clearing suspects, the actual process of gathering and deciphering DNA evidence is considerably more complicated. Poor-quality samples or partial profiles containing degraded DNA can present huge challenges in reconstructing a crime scene and identifying who was (and wasn’t) there. So too can complex DNA mixtures containing genetic data from more than two individuals, especially if any of the individuals are related.

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