What’s more, some types of DNA technology have shortcomings, as Boise State University geneticist Greg Hampikian cautioned Philadelphia meeting attendees. Sample collection methods haven’t changed since DNA’s courtroom debut in the 1980s, even though assay sensitivity has increased dramatically, he said. His group has shown that detectable amounts of DNA can transfer between specimens if a handler forgets to change gloves. Hampikian, director of an Innocence Project affiliate in Idaho, also showed that if exposed to extraneous details about a case, experts can give very different interpretations when analyzing DNA mixtures, as can appear in cases of gang rape Sci. Justice, DOI: 10.1016/j.scijus.2011.08.004. Despite these caveats, DNA testing is the gold standard among forensic disciplines, because it has undergone thorough scientific vetting.
Unfortunately, Sci.Justice study is behind a pay wall.