Doesn’t anyone watch CSI?

How long does it take to “fingerprint” someone’s DNA?
[Via Boing Boing]

For everybody playing Armchair Conspiracy Theorist (Is there any other kind? I’m not sure.): Molecular biology Ph.D. student, and science blogger, Christie Wilcox confirms that it is, indeed, possible to run a meaningful DNA test in a few hours, or even a few minutes. Depending on the type of test you use, and what that test is looking at. In fact, you’d only need about 5 hours to run three separate DNA tests. So while there seems to be some confusion over where the bin Laden family DNA is coming from, there shouldn’t be any confusion over whether a DNA test was possible.


If only the world was like TV. They would have had his genome entirely sequenced by now.

Actually, knowing that they would have to do this, I am sure they had Osama-specific tests already set up. It is much easier to use a DNA test if you are looking for a known specific person. They did not just start up figuring out how to do the test after they had the body.

I would not be surprised that there are some classified approaches they used to determine his identity, including some of the actual facial recognition approaches they used.

One thought on “Doesn’t anyone watch CSI?

  1. Our local TV medical person—Christie Myers, Channel 13, Houston—went to Baylor Medical School to show us the equipment used to do a field DNA test. It is so small that there is no problem carrying it and the print out can be faxed, emailed or sent in no time. So the actual analyzing COULD be done back home. Fascinating.

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