Has-bin Laden and the Science of DNA Identification

DNA FingerprintingWith the official pronounced death of Osama bin Laden, the air is thick with the question: Is it really him?

Check out this article from Scientific American that outlines the lab procedure for “DNA Fingerprinting” that includes extracting DNA, amplifying DNA sequences, genotyping, and analyzing the patterns. Unlike in usual murder cases, where crime lab results can take months, this procedure is performed in high school biology labs and can be completed in under 5 hours.

It would be interesting to find out what the autopsy report reveals about Osama bin Laden’s death and pre-death conditions. Hopefully, they will be more reliable than the fake autopsy photo floating around on the internet. (Conspiracy theorists, rev your engines!)

Via @SarahW with thanks to @RebeccaSkloot and @craigtimes.


  1. Cathy Zhu Chen

    That’s an interesting article, Laura. Who knows what’s real anymore these days. All we have is what’s revealed to us through (what seems like) orchestrated spectacles. It’s like watching a magic show.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *