Not long ago we talked about the proliferation of Craigslist ads for positive pregnancy tests. This is even worse. It's the revelation that fake DNA can be manufactured. (This was revealed in 2009 and comes from deep in my "pending" list.)
An article titled Israeli Scientists Prove DNA Evidence Can Be Faked described how scientists could make some DNA to match a sample. To wit:
In the second experiment, the team used a pooled sample of many people's DNA profiles that were stored in law enforcement databases. The scientists cloned tiny snippets of the DNA, created a library from the data, and simply mixed the elements together to match any profile required. According to Frumkin's team, such a "library" of 425 different DNA snippets could cover any possible profile.
They say the faked DNA lacks certain molecules and that tests could detect it if the tests were conducted.
Meanwhile, a year ago -- July of 2012 -- there were splashy headlines screaming Justice Dept., FBI to review use of forensic evidence in thousands of cases because of flawed forensic evidence which could have resulted in the conviction of innocent people. A year later -- July of 2013 -- we see U.S. reviewing 27 death penalty convictions for FBI forensic testimony errors. It would be nice if they finished up their review before the defendants get executed.
When we hear the phrase, "science doesn't lie," it's worthwhile to remember that science is only as good as the people performing it.