Forensic conference seeks global standards on DNA

By Cao Yin in Yantai, Shandong| (China Daily )| Updated : 2018-09-18

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Forensic experts at an international conference said on Monday that unified standards and regulated procedures in DNA identification will play a bigger role in fighting crime and safeguarding public safety by increasing criminal cooperation.

The Silk Road Forensic Consortium provides a platform for forensic experts from home and abroad to exchange ideas and challenges, and it can do more in DNA identification studies and applications, the experts said at the 3rd Conference of Silk Road Forensic Consortium in Yantai, Shandong province.

The consortium is planning to unify DNA identification standards and regulate the identification procedures of its members in "trying to build a mutual DNA database to better help solve criminal cases", said Henry Chang-Yu Lee, a globally renowned forensic scientist and the consortium's chairman.

The Chinese-American scientist spoke highly of rapid developments in forensic science in China, saying the unified standards and regulated procedures in DNA identification will contribute to criminal investigations.

"Different countries use different apparatuses for DNA identification, and may report in different ways," he said. "But if the identification process is unified, we'll easily read the report, no matter which language it's written in."

Li Shengbin, head of the School of Forensic Sciences at Xi'an Jiaotong University, said it is currently hard for domestic DNA identification laboratories to share data with each other partly because they use different equipment.

"It's urgent and crucial to regulate the procedures," said Li, who is also executive chairman of the consortium. "We must make the accuracy of identification a priority in our work. If DNA data can be shared among our members or even around the world, I believe our fight against crime, especially cross-regional crime and terrorism, will be more effective."

The two-day conference was jointly hosted by the Silk Road Forensic Consortium, the Yantai government and BGI, a genomics corporation in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. The consortium has more than 150 members from 30 countries and regions, including Russia, India and the United States.