Genetics and attribution issues that confront the microbial forensics field

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Abstract

The commission of an act of bioterrorism or biocrime is a real concern for law enforcement and society. Efforts are underway to develop a strong microbial forensic program to assist in identifying perpetrators of acts of bioterrorism and biocrimes, as well as serve as a deterrent for those who might commit such illicit acts. Genetic analyses of microbial organisms will likely be a powerful tool for attribution of criminal acts. There are some similarities to forensic human DNA analysis practices, such as: molecular biology technology, use of population databases, qualitative conclusions of test results, and the application of QA/QC practices. Differences include: database size and composition, statistical interpretation methods, and confidence/uncertainty in the outcome of an interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalForensic Science International
Volume146
Issue numberSUPPL.
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2004

Keywords

  • Biocrime
  • Bioterrorism
  • Microbial forensics
  • Population genetics
  • Statistics

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