Expert on DNA evidence speaks at YSU - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Expert on DNA evidence speaks at YSU

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DNA evidence is becoming more widely used and necessary in criminal court cases.

Dan Krane is a professor of biology at Wright State University and is one of the world's foremost DNA experts.  He's served as a witness in over a hundred trials in which DNA evidence was used including the OJ Simpson trial.

Krane spoke to a class of Youngstown State University students about the science of DNA.

He says DNA testing has come a long way since it was introduced in the late 80s. Now science is getting results from smaller amounts of material than ever before.  From fingerprints to trace amounts of saliva, it's getting much harder for criminals to "get away with it."

“I've seen cigarette butts, I’ve seen beer cans, the insides on condoms, sandwiches, chicken wings left behind at the scene of the crime where they've been able to isolate DNA. You name it, it's probably been suitable for generating a DNA profile,” Krane said.

To this day, DNA testing is being used to free people who have spent decades in prison for crimes they didn't commit. “There have been hundreds of people who have wrongly convicted over the years and some of those have in fact been on death row,” Krane said.

With the DNA testing becoming cheaper, faster, more sensitive and more widely used, Krane hopesmore students get involved in the science. “We need more academic involvement, we need to have people applying rigorous scientific principles to all aspects of forensics, DNA included,” Krane said.

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