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GENELEX SAYS NEW YORK TIMES STORY MISINTERPRETS NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT

 GENELEX SAYS NEW YORK TIMES STORY
 MISINTERPRETS NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT
 SEATTLE, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by GeneLex Corp.:
 In the Tuesday, April 14, edition of the New York Times, a story by reporter Gina Kolata suggests that an about-to-be-released report by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences questions the value of DNA analysis as a form of identification.
 In fact, the NRC report affirms the scientific integrity of DNA identification methods and endorses their use in criminal casework. What it does say is that forensic laboratories should be subject to proficiency standards. In fact, most of the DNA laboratories in the country, both public and private, are already participating in a variety of proficiency programs.
 The committee chair, Victor A. McKusick of Johns Hopkins University, has already publicly stated that the New York Times article "seriously misrepresents" the committee's findings.
 "Ms. Kolata has previously written articles which are hostile to the concept of DNA identification and misquoted many prominent scientists. In one sense, it is as though the chairman of the Democratic National Committee had said something unpleasant about the Bush Administration. The difference is that the New York Times is the nation's newspaper of record," said Howard Coleman, president of GeneLex Corp., a Seattle-based forensic biotechnology laboratory.
 "The New York Times story is so irresponsible and contrary to the public interest that we are requesting that Ms. Kolata's editor review the final version of the document when it becomes available April 16, and issue a timely correction," Coleman said. Coleman is a member of the committee which is drafting organizational plans for a national organization of DNA analysis laboratories.
 "While forensic DNA evidence introduced in court is powerful, and establishes that a given individual was at the scene of a crime, it does not relieve the prosecutor of establishing the relationship of the individual to the crime scene. There are a variety of reasons for a person to have been at the scene of a crime. It is the prosecutor's burden to relate all forms of evidence to a sequence of events involved in a crime.
 "The crime for which DNA evidence is most conclusively and convincingly used is the crime of rape when committed on an individual by a stranger. It is unlikely that the National Research Council would deprive prosecutors of an important weapon in defeating the crime of rape. National crime statistics have established that most rapists are repeat offenders, and sending one rapist to jail can save any number of people from a crime which causes great psychological anguish in addition to the physical consequences," Coleman continued.
 Tomorrow, a group of forensic DNA scientists will request that Kolata's editor review her story and that the New York Times issue a retraction.
 GeneLex is a Seattle-based laboratory specializing in DNA analysis and other forensic evidence testing. In addition, GeneLex performs DNA testing to establish or exclude paternity.
 -0- 4/14/92
 /CONTACT: Howard Coleman of GeneLex, 206-382-9591/ CO: GeneLex Corp.; New York Times ST: Washington IN: MTC SU:


SC-LM -- SE015 -- 8322 04/14/92 16:37 EDT
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Date:Apr 14, 1992
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