The Development of DNA Fingerprinting and Computer Forensics

The question of civil liberties violations is long-standing, and both DNA profiling and computer forensics occupy a decidedly fuzzy area of investigation and require the utmost of care when scientists are gathering evidence. Courts ultimately decide the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence. the task of forensics is to ensure that evidence is effectively and reliably used during an investigation into crimes.In the 1880s, fingerprinting was brought to forensic science. As with all new crime-fighting technologies, fingerprinting went through a probationary period before it was accepted as legitimate science, and is still one of the most reliable ways to determine responsibility for crimes. As time has gone on we have developed even more precise ways of gathering forensic evidence, and DNA fingerprinting has become the latest tool forensic scientists use. Initially, the technology was so rough that only the donor’s blood type and gender could be determined. forensic science has advanced well beyond those rudimentary determinations, but not without a certain amount of controversy over the reliability of DNA profiling.A strong breakthrough in DNA profiling came in October of 1984 when Sir Alec Jeffreys revealed the development of the autoradiograph which could be used to sequence DNA (Malcolm, 2008). Jeffreys termed the breakthrough DNA fingerprinting, a remarkably accurate phrasing for a somewhat confusing scientific process. Jeffreys and other scientists working on this new frontier determined that sufficient DNA to obtain an accurate profile existed in body fluids and hair, which were determined to have been abandoned by suspects at crime scenes (Johnson, Martin, and Williams, 2003, p. 28. c.f. Duster, 2006, p. 297). By the late 1980s, technology breakthroughs had refined DNA fingerprinting, speeded up the process, and made profiles far more accurate using sometimes contaminated samples from crime scenes.