This will be good news to those who wish to frame someone for a crime, DAs who want to win a case without worrying about having the right person, governments who want to…

[knock knock knock]

Yes? What? Wait… Wait! Arresting me? For what? It wasn’t me! I didn’t do it! I’m innocent, I tell you! Innooooceeeeent!!!

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

“You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

Dr. Frumkin is a founder of Nucleix, a company based in Tel Aviv that has developed a test to distinguish real DNA samples from fake ones that it hopes to sell to forensics laboratories.

The planting of fabricated DNA evidence at a crime scene is only one implication of the findings. A potential invasion of personal privacy is another.

  1. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    The anti-virus approach: invent a problem so you can sell a tool to solve it.

  2. bobbo, nothing to see here says:

    This presents nothing but standard evidence issues. Any evidence, yes including dna, can be faked/planted/corrupted. Most of these issues are controlled by the “chain of evidence” rules, but a dirty cop can do a lot of damage.

    Complete NON-STORY.

  3. jbenson2 says:

    The lawyers are going to have a field-day with this one.

    Now, they can “prove” OJ was innocent.

  4. BigBoyBC says:

    Well, this will give the lawyers a way of challenging DNA evidence the prooves their clients are guilty.

  5. diamened says:

    No. The first misuse for this is not forging convictions. The first misuse for this will be paternity tests.

  6. Mr. Fusion says:

    This may be forged for paternity testing BUT I agree with Bobbo, this is really a non story.

    The strength of any evidence is based far more upon all the intangibles than it does the test itself. Although phony evidence shows up far more in fictional TV and movies than it does in real life.

    Interestingly enough, and most people ignore or forget this, when the OJ blood samples were refuted the prosecutors evidence was all in question. How preservative came to be found in the blood samples on the socks, the fact the blood was soaked all the way through the sock, and the missing blood sample clearly leave the impression that evidence was fabricated. If the evidence was fabricated here, what else that wasn’t discovered was fabricated too?

  7. Mr. Fusion says:

    The cases of fabricating will be small. Very few labs will be willing to forge results when another test will be able to definitely show they are wrong. That would open the lab up to huge settlements and possible loss of their license and credibility of all who work there.

  8. jbenson2 says:

    Labs don’t have to worry about loss of their license. As the article mentions, it can be easily done: “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

    And just like any other nefarious technology, the bad guys’ skill will become more and more accurate, making detection more and more difficult.

  9. jbenson2 says:

    Following up on #8 – In our legal system, all the lawyers need to do is plant some seed of doubt in the mind of the jury.

  10. The more things change says:


    What a SILLY headline! It’s still the NEAR 100% flawless system. This is just saying if you have a batch of world class scientists with a lab that can ‘construct’ DNA strands, you COULD theoretically fake some DNA evidence. I figured that. So if you don’t want to get framed, try not to piss of a group of nerds with Phd’s in biochemistry and access to a lab.

  11. MikeN says:

    I was told on this blog that criminals always leave behind DNA, and get busted for it.

    What does this have to do with labs’ forging? Aren’t they saying that people can spread DNA samples at the crime scene?

  12. Alex says:

    “This is just saying if you have a batch of world class scientists with a lab that can ‘construct’ DNA strands, you COULD theoretically fake some DNA evidence.”

    Uh… RTFA. That’s not what it’s saying at all. Essentially all that this requires is a little bit of the DNA you want to implant, removing the DNA you don’t want found, and then putting in the DNA you want.

    Easy? No. But it doesn’t require “a batch of world class scientists.”

  13. soundwash says:

    complete non story….

    people seem to forget how bloody easy it is to *corrupt* computer data, (let alone science)

    on top of that, humans are THE most easily corrupted entity on the planet.
    (barring perhaps, water…for the nit-pickers.)

    as for the world class scientists argument….

    there are no (and perhaps never were) “world class scientists” in the employ of government. i’d even argue that especially here in the states, *world class science* died a political (and religious, ) death centuies ago…

    [all the truly great ones were independents]

    in case nobody noticed..our peer-reviewed science as a whole was politically corrupted decades if not over a century ago. one need only at the completly political driven global warming/climate change “science” argument…
    -science has nothing to do with it.

    anyone with no prior knowledge, (and someone who actually wants to learn the “real” truth) need only spend maybe two weeks seriously researching weather (and the “true” nature of the atom..and water) will learn that planetary weather is almost completely reliant on Solar and space weather activity, it’s electrical/electromagnetic properties, it’s [grand scale] cyclical nature, and the fact that the water molecule is (and can be described as) a polarized electric dipole.

    the argument that controlling CO2 forcing/output will *correct* man’s great climate sin is a fallacy in the Nth degree… a grand farce..

    If mainstream science (especially government/profit driven science) cannot be trusted to tell us the truth about something as mundane as how the weather truely works, how can you seriously believe mainstream science [labs] could never be corrupted when it comes to DNA evidence??

    (keep in mind it is nothing to setup a lab that “fronts” integrity.
    (if there is money to be made or [political] enemies to be eliminated…)

    -especially given all the prior “art” we have of science “creating a body of science” based on who’s funding the research.

    Seriously, the naiveity of some people is astounding, if not outright mind-blowing..

    (yada, yada, yada,)

    (‘xcuse the grammatical errors plz)

  14. zorkor says:

    Now, the least the Israelis can do is release the innocent women and children which it arrested under false allegations and DNA testing.

    Oh, sorry, you cant expect anything good from the israelis…

  15. Glenn E. says:

    “DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated!” Yeah, this news will come as great relief to all those rich murderers, that can afford a whole law firm to get them off.

    But the idea that any evidence is 100% flawless, is false. It’s mostly just a confidence game, that the legal system plays, that has the general public believing DNA, finger prints, blood tests, tire marks, bullet ballistics, eyewitness IDs, are all without question. And Tv shows are certainly out to convince us so, with a vengeance. They’ll probably be doing some “damage control” in a future episode of “CSI(whatever)”, how DNA can’t be faked.

  16. Uncle Patso says:

    # 12 Alex said, in part:

    “Essentially all that this requires is a little bit of the DNA you want to implant, removing the DNA you don’t want found, and then putting in the DNA you want.

    Easy? No. But it doesn’t require ‘a batch of world class scientists.’ ”

    Actually, it does, or something close to it. These aren’t things you can whip up in an afternoon, MacGuyver-like, using a magnifying glass, two plastic forks, a mayonnaise jar and three olives. The article says any biology undergraduate can do this (which, having had the odd clumsy lab partner, I dispute), and just where do you expect to find a biology undergrad? Why near a bunch of well-educated university-trained biology and science teachers! Your average cop, even your average detective won’t have the tools to pull this off. I don’t think these techniques will be a very big issue in the courts.

    Also, I’d like to thank #13 soundwash for letting us know that any random angry young man can completely falsify the work of thousands of scientists who have spent decades each in education and spent billions of dollars and more decades of effort in research, with a couple of weeks of independent reading and an attitude.

  17. Justanotherlawyer says:

    It is not a sure thing that DNA will be found at the scene. I don’t know what the ratio of cases is of cases where DNA forestalls charges versus cases where there is no DNA and other evidence inculpates. I do know that once DNA became available and once old cases were reexamined where the state had preserved the evidence, if DNA proved a piece of evidence did not belong to the convicted defendant, then all of a sudden that hair that the prosecutor pointed to at trial and told the jury eliminated all reasonable doubt becomes just a piece of trash found at the scene. The bloody tshirt that turns out not to have the blood of the defendant on it. . .

    It is difficult to comprehend the intransigence of prosecutors to stand on a conviction in light of exonerating evidence, or their ability to be in denial when their initial hyperbole at trial proves contrary to reality. Not all of them, but far too many who value victory over justice. And of course, when they refuse to admit the error, the real killer remains free, subjecting society to a real risk of harm.

    The news had a story yesterday of a Texas man released after 26 years when the hair linking him to the crime turned out not to be his. The real rapists cannot be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run.

  18. BertDawg says:

    Again – RTFA (and the source) – manufactured DNA is apparently 100% detectable, at least for the time being.


Bad Behavior has blocked 5302 access attempts in the last 7 days.