Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


This IQP analyzed DNA fingerprinting technology. Different procedures of DNA analysis, including RFLP and PCR, and the progression from analysis of VNTRs to STRs were discussed. The methods used for collecting, handling, storing and processing forensic evidence were enumerated. The development of legal precedent to permit the use of DNA evidence in the courtroom was reviewed with particular emphasis for landmark court cases and the evidence assessment systems set forth by presiding judges. The ethics of DNA databases with relation to informed consent for taking DNA samples, public discourse about the pitfalls of DNA fingerprinting, privacy rights in relation cold-hit techniques, the retention of DNA samples, and the use of private corporations to analyze DNA fingerprints were examined.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

August 2008

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology