Pros and Cons of DNA Testing


DNA testing has revolutionized the criminal justice system. With accurate testing results, it can be determined whether or not a suspect has conclusively visited a crime scene under investigation. DNA testing can also be used to verify family lineage and even genetic conditions, disorders, or diseases. This comes at a cost, but the information may be priceless. Here are some other pros and cons of DNA testing to consider.

The Pros of DNA Testing

1. The information is virtually 100% accurate.
Although any testing process has the possibility of error, with DNA testing the error rate of an accurately tested specimen is less than 0.001%. This means the data is difficult to argue against.

2. The results are conclusive.
You can know for certain if someone is part of your family because of DNA similarities. You can also tell if someone has been in a certain location because their DNA that gets left behind is matched to them like a fingerprint.

3. DNA samples can be obtained from almost any part of the body.
Blood and saliva tests are the two most common DNA samples that are obtained. Any part of the body, however, can also provide DNA for testing as well.

The Cons of DNA Testing

1. Errors that do happen are not believed.
Because the probability of an error with a properly tested sample is so low, when they do happen, it can be difficult for many to accept this fact. DNA testing has often been presented as infallible, which means more credence to the results are sometimes given without proof.

2. It takes a lot of time to process a sample.
The average turnaround time for DNA testing is about 4-6 weeks for most labs. There are fast-turn laboratories that are available which can provide results in 4-6 days instead, but the costs of such testing may be doubled when compared to the standard testing time periods.

3. The tests can be manipulated.
There are ways to beat a DNA test. Using a false blood sample, saliva sample, or other items can lead investigators down the wrong path because of how certain many are regarding the conclusiveness of DNA left anywhere.

The pros and cons of DNA testing show us that there are many useful benefits to this practice. As long as all of the negatives are honestly considered, the information obtained from these tests can be useful in many ways.