DNA Testing Gets An Unexpected O.K.

But a U.S. body urges great care in handling the technique

DEFENSE LAWYERS MUST HAVE BEEN THRILLED BY the article on the front page of the New York Times. It said a report about to be released by the National Research Council would reject "DNA fingerprinting," also known as DNA typing.

The practice involves testing material like hair or blood from a crime scene and matching DNA in it to samples from a suspect. In theory, the chances of a mistake are fewer than 1 in 100,000, compared with 1 in 10 for conventional blood typing.

But while DNA typing has been widely used since the mid-1980s, defense lawyers often cried foul....

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