2 Hastings Sci. & Tech. L.J. 267 (2010)
Concerns Associated with Expanding DNA Databases

handle is hein.journals/hascietlj2 and id is 281 raw text is: 9 ROMAN SAN1o~ DNA DA1A13AsI~s 051310 AM.Do (Do Nol DLLLIL) 5 1420109:37:57 AM

Concerns Associated with Expanding DNA
Databases
by CANDICE ROMAN-SANTOS*
I. Introduction
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is the source of each individual's
genetic makeup. The fact that each person's DNA is unique (with the
exception of identical twins) and does not change over time (with the
exception of mutations') makes it a useful identification tool.
Scientific advances have led to the creation of DNA databases that
serve various purposes, including clinical research on personalized
medicine, genetic testing to determine if a person has or is likely to
get or be a carrier of a genetic condition, providing certainty in
paternity disputes, and ancestry tests to identify ancestors who lived
over 200,000 years ago. This paper will focus on the use of DNA
databases by law enforcement to identify victims, missing persons,
and perpetrators of crimes.
The molecular structure of DNA was discovered in 1950, and
DNA typing was first applied in criminal cases in the 1980s. By the
turn of the century, all fifty states had established DNA databases for
individuals convicted of certain offenses.
* Candice Roman-Santos is a Juris Doctor candidate at the University of California
Hastings College of the Law, Class of 2010. She will be graduating with Pro Bono
recognition as a member of the Pro Bono Society and a Certificate in Law, Science &
Health Policy from the University of California, San Francisco. She earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Integrated Science and Technology with a dual-concentration in
Biotechnology and Engineering & Manufacturing from James Madison University, Class
of 2001. The author would like to extend her sincerest gratitude to Lisa S. Faigman for
inspiring this piece and for her continued support and friendship.
1. Virtually every single person will have some sort of change to their DNA during
their life. Changes can result from a multitude of mistakes, such as an error when DNA is
replicated or through damage to DNA occurring from environmental or lifestyle factors.
A DNA mutation can also be inherited. Explore DNA, What are DNA Mutations,
http://www.exploredna.co.uk/what-dna-mutations.html (last visited Mar. 8, 2010).

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