Scientists oppose to closure of Europe’s largest DNA forensic service
London – Leading UK forensic scientists are opposing the decision of the UK government to close Europe’ s largest service facility for genetic fingerprinting. In a letter to The Times, 33 UK researchers headed by Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of the technique, called on the government not to close the Forensic Science Service. Since the foundation of the UK National DNA Database in 1985, which carries most DNA profiles within Europe (5.5 million DNA fingerprints), the FSS has carried out all forensic DNA analyses in the UK, 130,000 per year, and has helped to establish a system of quality assurance that helps identifying false DNA traces, caused by contamination of police investigators. Jeffreys said that it would essential to "ensure continuous funding for independent forensic research and development and to secure an impartial system for quality assurance to all providers of forensic services." The FSS has competition from many private firms offering DNA testing and other forensic services, and the U.K. Home Office says the service is costing the government EUR2.3 million a month. The government announced the closure despite the organization's willingness to undertake a "radical restructuring," officials say.