Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


The purpose of this IQP was to explore the emerging technology of DNA Fingerprinting and its impact on society, especially the judicial system and the ethics of DNA databases. Since the mid 1980's when DNA evidence first appeared in courtrooms, society has been skeptical of this new way to identify criminals, but following key landmark courtcases, and the creation of standard procedures for collecting, storing, and analyzing DNA evidence, this technology has slowly gained acceptance. Different procedures for DNA fingerprinting are described, as well as their uses and forensic applications. Various court cases involving the use of DNA forensics were studied. Lastly, the ethical concerns our society expresses toward DNA databases and genetic privacy were analyzed.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

September 2008

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology