Think DNA evidence is foolproof? In fact, it's so easy to fabricate that "any biology undergrad" could engineer a crime scene, claim scientists in Israel. Raising troubling implications for a legal system that treats DNA as a gold standard, the scientists have demonstrated that DNA samples are vulnerable to both intentional tampering and inadvertent forensic lab contamination, the New York Times reports.
The scientists' fabrication techniques could also enable "genetic paparazzi" to submit other people's DNA for genetic testing or commit "biological identity theft," according to Haaretz. The researchers behind the findings work for Nucleix, a Tel Aviv biotech startup that hopes to sell forensics labs a test to distinguish real DNA from faked samples.