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DNA Technology And Society

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New technology is being used and integrated into society in the area of forensics using DNA. A profile of an individual is created when any physical traces are left behind at a crime scene, like blood, tissues, hair, or anything else harboring DNA. All of this information gets compiled, organized, and stored on computers to be cross-checked with the profiles of other individuals. Other techniques like “dusting for finger prints” (prints that are lifted from objects that have been touched) are still used, but genetic information that’s been put together and stored has a pretty wide range of possible effects on the general public that can be both positive and negative.

Crimes such as assault or murder are among the most serious, so this is where creating a genetic profile of persons that were present when the crime was committed would have probably the largest application. This information that’s been put together and stored could be compared to the genetic information that’s been collected from others, such as the victim or the person who is suspected of having actually done the crime. This technology is very useful in how efficient it is in mapping out the all of the unique properties in a person’s DNA, which makes it significantly easier to accurately identify offenders. This in turn could greatly help in quickly apprehending suspects and preventing them from harming other people, which would benefit the rest of society by the removal of such criminals.

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Using DNA technology to solve crimes is a positive thing for members of society. It makes it possible to identify victims who are otherwise unrecognizable in the aftermath of a crime (in the instance of a violent murder or cold case), which then gives members of law enforcement a starting point in identifying what happened and finding the person responsible. It also makes it possible to exonerate a person who has been wrongly imprisoned, or wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit. In the past, innocent people have been accused of crimes based solely on their blood type and faulty “eye-witness” accounts. A unique DNA profile would make it much more difficult for the wrong person to be condemned.

While these are positive aspects of the use of this type of DNA collection, there is some controversy and possible negative side effects of its usage. At the center of this controversy is the issue of privacy. Our genetic profile is a hugely personal thing. It can tell things about an individual that they may wish to keep to themselves. Certainly, there is tons of information already in the public domain about members of society, including personal pictures that are posted on social media and the like, but usually this appears to be a voluntary thing. While stored genetic information isn’t open to the public and needs authorization for access, there is still the possibility of misuse. If someone has a DNA profile already in a computer database, which is possible even if the person did not commit a crime, officials could potentially abuse this system and scan it for any person even remotely similar to a suspect to save time and wrap up a case more quickly.

I support this form of genetic technology, but only if more protections are put in place against abuse of the system and basic human error. If this system is used properly, and genetic information (which can show things like race or ethnicity, and health of a person) remains confidential, then I believe this technology is hugely beneficial. The potential help society is significant and seems to overshadow most of the negative possibilities.


  1. National Research Council; Division on Earth and Life Studies; Commission on Life Sciences; Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science. (2019). DNA Technology in Forensic Science. (Ch. 7, pg 152-163). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Retrieved March 3, 2019, from (Original work published in 1992).

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DNA Technology And Society. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from
“DNA Technology And Society.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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