Archives for DNA



Ridding the Streets of Dog Poop, One DNA Test at a Time

It’s been quite a while since we proposed a novel solution for ridding our cities of dog poop — DNA registration of pets, and subsequent DNA identification of wayward dung — but it seems to be slowly, slowly gaining acceptance. The Israeli city Petah Tikvah gave it a try, and now the New York Post reports (and Gothamist follows) about an apartment complex in Rockville Center, Long Island, that’s using the DNA method to punish owners who don’t pick up after their dogs. Good to see the power of poop still rolling on. Read More »



The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Evil Twin Edition

| Say your evil twin successfully completes a multimillion-dollar jewel heist but leaves a DNA-tainted glove at the crime scene. The police have your DNA on file, because you and your twin have both been arrested before. Lucky for you, your twin’s genetic markers are so similar to your own that no test can tell […] Read More »



The Real Cost of Chewing Tobacco

Police in Washington State foiled a near-perfect bank robbery this week by using DNA evidence they extracted from the suspect’s spittoon. In September, the man allegedly pepper-sprayed an armored-car guard and ran off with a bag full of money. Witnesses called police, describing the suspect as a man in a blue shirt, construction vest, and […] Read More »



Our Dog-Feces Dream Is Finally a Reality

Photo: 416style Yes, it sounds like a ridiculous idea, and you may have been among those who laughed, or worse, when we first proposed it: In order to keep a city’s streets clean of dog poop, require dog owners to submit DNA samples from their pets when they get licenses; then use that DNA database […] Read More »



Are the F.B.I.’s Probabilities About DNA Matches Crazy?

Jason Felch and Maura Dolan of the Los Angeles Times recently wrote a fascinating piece about a controversy that has arisen regarding the use of DNA in identifying criminal suspects. The article starts like this: State crime lab analyst Kathryn Troyer was running tests on Arizona’s DNA database when she stumbled across two felons with […] Read More »