March 7, 2024
Dr Ian Goodall relates the history of DNA fingerprinting, invented in 1985 at Leicester University by geneticist Dr Alec Jeffreys (now Sir Alec Jeffreys CH) and used worldwide in forensic science to assist police detective work and to resolve paternity and immigration disputes. It was first employed in 1987 to catch and convict Colin Pitchfork - a serial rapist and child murderer - who tried to evade capture by faking his identity. It has since been used to confirm the identity of the remains of the last Russian Royal family following the fall of the Soviet Union; and also King Richard III, found more recently buried under a car park in Leicester! Ian will explain how these cases unfolded, and how the fingerprinting technique works.