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August 28, 2017

Law enforcement can now scan your DNA in 90 minutes, but should they?

  • Government
  • Statute
  • Industry
  • Genetics/Genomics

The Mercury News – At the IntegenX Inc. headquarters on Stoneridge Drive, employees are hard at work developing upgrades to their product: a small machine that can unravel DNA code in less than two hours.

The company is a leader in the market for what is known as rapid DNA technology, which has shortened the time it takes to process DNA testing from weeks to about 90 minutes. It could get a boost from recently passed legislation that sets new federal rules for how law enforcement processes DNA, something the company’s leaders have been lobbying for in the past few years.

IntegenX CEO Robert Schueren called the passage of the bill — the Rapid DNA Act of 2017 —  a “landmark day” in fighting crime. The bill will allow law enforcement agencies to perform real-time DNA testing at the time of arrest at their own booking stations, comparing samples to profiles in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) under guidelines set by the FBI.

Using the technology, investigators can find out whether an arrestee’s DNA matches the DNA in the FBI database while suspects are still being processed. But the prospect raises privacy concerns for some.

Read more at The Mercury News.

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