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You are serving on a jury in a murder case in a large city. The prosecutor has just stated that DNA fingerprinting shows that the suspect must have committed the crime. He says that for cost reasons, two STR probes were used instead of four, but that the results are just as accurate. The first probe detected a locus that has a population frequency of 1 in 100 (1%), and the second probe has a population frequency of 1 in 500 (0.2%). a. What is the combined frequency of these alleles in the population? b. Does this point to the suspect as the perpetrator of the crime? c. Is there any other evidence you would like from the DNA lab? d. Do you think that most people on juries understand basic probabilities, or do you think that DNA evidence can be used to mislead jurors into reaching false conclusions?

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Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052

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Section
BuyFindarrow_forward

Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052
Chapter 14, Problem 10QP
Textbook Problem
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You are serving on a jury in a murder case in a large city. The prosecutor has just stated that DNA fingerprinting shows that the suspect must have committed the crime. He says that for cost reasons, two STR probes were used instead of four, but that the results are just as accurate. The first probe detected a locus that has a population frequency of 1 in 100 (1%), and the second probe has a population frequency of 1 in 500 (0.2%).

  1. a. What is the combined frequency of these alleles in the population?
  2. b. Does this point to the suspect as the perpetrator of the crime?
  3. c. Is there any other evidence you would like from the DNA lab?
  4. d. Do you think that most people on juries understand basic probabilities, or do you think that DNA evidence can be used to mislead jurors into reaching false conclusions?

a.

Summary Introduction

To determine: The combined frequency of two alleles used in DNA fingerprinting.

Introduction: The detection of variations in the minisatellites, or short tandem repeats used to identify individuals is called DNA fingerprinting. DNA was first used as forensic evidence in 1986.

Explanation of Solution

Short tandem repeats or STRs are repeated sequences that are widely distributed on the human chromosomes. The variation in the repeats of STRs is used to prepare a DNA profile. Thousands of STRs on different chromosomes have a number of alleles of varying lengths hence having a significant amount of heterozygosity. Since these alleles are independently assorted, the combined frequency of two alleles is calculated by multiplying the individual frequencies...

b.

Summary Introduction

To determine: Whether the combined frequency of the alleles point to the suspect as a perpetrator

Introduction: DNA profiling has been used in criminal and civil investigations. The allele frequency with a number of STR probes is calculated, and the probability is matched with the suspect.

c.

Summary Introduction

To determine: The additional data that can be obtained from the DNA lab to find the perpetrator.

Introduction: The use of DNA profiling has brought about a major revolution in criminal and civil proceedings. The DNA is probed with four STR allele probes, and the frequency is calculated to determine or identify the perpetrator.

d.

Summary Introduction

To determine: Whether jurors in judicial system understand basic probability and whether DNA evidence can mislead jurors to make a false decision.

Introduction: DNA was first used as forensic evidence in 1986 since then DNA profiling has brought about a major revolution in criminal and civil proceedings. The analysis of DNA profiling includes the study of probability, statistics and population genetics.

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