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CSI Files

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‘CSI’ Encourages Parents To Store DNA

By Deborah
December 4, 2006 - 1:26 AM

Television shows such as CSI are causing parents to take interest in keeping genetic records for their children. “It’s the CSI mentality: that DNA is going to be the answer to any problem that comes up,” said Jerry Nance, supervisor of the forensic assistance unit of the nonprofit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Parents across the country are now swabbing the inside of their children’s mouths, taking a DNA sample just in case they need it if the child is kidnapped, runs away or suffers a terrible accident. DNA can be used to identify remains, hair or blood.

Kits are now available that include a photo, fingerprints, a collection swab and a special envelope in which to store the DNA sample. The kits may be obtained from private companies, police stations, orthodontists and others.

Ed Smart, whose daughter Elizabeth was kidnapped from her Utah bedroom in June 2002, wishes he would have known about the DNA kits. Although his daughter was found alive nine months later, investigators took boxes of his daughter’s belongings to find her DNA and did not get a sample back for weeks. “It is kind of like an insurance policy you hope you never use,” he said.

To read the full story, head over to CNN.

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