Monday, March 08, 2010

Mitochondrial DNA's Surprising Variability Could Complicate Forensic and Genealogical Analyses

I’m not an expert by a long shot but this article from HealthNewsDigest.com  about the mitochondrial genome presents what looks like some negative news for forensic and genealogical analyses. 

One paragraph in the article says:

“The relative abundance of mitochondrial DNA has made it a powerful tool for forensic scientists, who use it to match suspects to human blood or tissue samples retrieved from crime scenes.


“The bottom line is there is no single mitochondrial genome in humans.”
Bert Vogelstein

"New data from the lab of HHMI investigator Bert Vogelstein may push scientists to reconsider how they employ mitochondrial DNA. “The bottom line is there is no single mitochondrial genome in humans,” says Vogelstein. “We were surprised to find how much the DNA of mitochondria varies within each individual.”

HealthNewsDigest.com