Forensic Scientists Criticize FBI's New CODIS Plan
October 18, 2011

Forensic Scientists Criticize FBI’s New CODIS Plan

Five members of the forensic science community criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) DNA database system, according to a BBC report by writer Paul Rincon.

The FBI's CODIS system generates the genetic profiles stored in the U.S. national DNA database.

The agency plans to expand the number of genetic markers used by CODIS to try and classify individual DNA profiles.

However, a few forensic scientists have negative opinions about the FBI's new plan.

Dr Bruce Budowle and colleagues said at the Promega 22nd International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) that  the changes were vitally important because they were set down how DNA profiles were recorded in the U.S. for "the next 20 years."

BBC's Rincon reports that Budowle said the FBI did not sufficiently consult with the forensic science community before making its recommendations.

"The first time around we took a community-wide approach - 21 laboratories rolling up their sleeves and generating data we could analyze and [use to] make decisions," Dr Budowle, from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, told BBC.

"This time around, they formed a working group of around five [scientists] and an FBI person to decide what the core set should be.

"Should the needs of CODIS - our national database system - drive the casework processes, or should the needs of casework drive the CODIS processes?

"I would hope the latter is obviously what should be done."

CODIS uses a set of 13 genetic markers to generate individual DNA profiles, but will be extending that number to 24 markers.


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