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U.S. needs to change law to use Rapid DNA technology


An official at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged that a change to the DNA Identification Act of 1994 may be necessary in order to use and support Rapid DNA technology.

Recent technological advances are now being employed in the development of portable “Rapid DNA” machines that are being designed for use by law enforcement officers in booking stations to initiate DNA analysis of arrested individuals much more expeditiously than in the past.

Rapid DNA machines are tools used for quick DNA analysis, often providing results within 90 minutes.

According to Clark Jaw, an auditor at the FBI Laboratory for the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), an amendment to the DNA Identification Act of 1994 maybe necessary to enable federal agencies to use Rapid DNA.

The DNA Identification Act of 1994 passed by Congress gave the FBI the authority to establish its DNA index system, according to a recent report in Network World, but did not forsee DNA information being uploaded to the FBI database from a local police station using Internet-connected Rapid DNA equipment.

Acording to Jaw, the legislation only covered accredited DNA labs in use today, not the mobile Rapid DNA equipment that can be operated by non-technical personnel in the field.

It therefore appears that Congress will need to change the DNA Identification Act to accommodate new Rapid DNA technology.

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