By Submitting Your DNA to Online Genetic Testing Sites, You May Be Helping to Solve Cold Case Crimes
It is difficult to find someone who has not heard of “Ancestry.com” or “23andme" that offer to sequence parts of a person’s genome. These services offer to search your genetic profile for information about your family’s ethnic origins or the presence of certain factors that will increase your probability of being susceptible to certain diseases in your lifetime. It is doubtful that people who have purchased these products would have considered that their depositions of DNA in these databases has helped to capture criminals responsible for cold case murders dating back decades, but this is precisely what has recently occurred.
To fully comprehend the significance of these recent developments in crime fighting and their inherent privacy concerns, one has to be familiar with the meaning behind certain terms like: genome, genetic material, genealogy, and DNA. DNA is the abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the molecule inside of everyone that encodes the genetic information unique to each individual. A person’s genome is the term ascribed to all the genetic information that is found inside of each of their cells.