Separating the DNA of identical twins

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:12:00 BST

Dr Graham Williams at the University of Huddersfield...

...has conducted research into separating the DNA of identical twins when one has committed a crime.

The probability of a DNA match between two unrelated individuals is about one in a billion.  For two full siblings, the probability drops to one-in-10,000.  But identical twins present exactly the same DNA profile as each other and so the probability of having matching DNA is one-in-one.  This has created legal conundrums when it has not been possible to tell which of the pair was guilty or innocent of a crime and has led to prosecutions being dropped, rather than run the risk of convicting the wrong twin.

Dr Graham Williams (pictured right) and his Forensic Genetics Research Group at the University of Huddersfield, recently developed a solution to the problem.  Dr Williams explains his research in the video.

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