Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


This IQP explores the science of DNA fingerprinting and the impact it has had on the judicial system. The techniques for creating a DNA fingerprint from evidence samples collected crimes scenes along with proper procedures and protocols to maintain the chain of custody to prevent the sample from becoming contaminated. The evolution of DNA evidence in the court room was tracked through landmark court cases establishing standards for the admittance of DNA evidence. Sensational court cases were cited to show the impact DNA evidence has had on the legal system. The effect of technology on society is discussed regarding the ethics of DNA databases and the privacy rights of the DNA donor. Finally the authors draw their own conclusions based on the research performed.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

August 2011

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology