In 1985 the concept of a "DNA fingerprint" was introduced as a means of evaluating human identity and relatednes. (Jeffreys, Wilson, & Thein, 1985). The possible forensic and legal applications of DNA evidence were quickly appreciated and such data are now frequently presented in court cases involving serious crimes such as murder and rape. DNA evidence is also used in establishing paternity, in determining relatedness in immigration and inheritance disputes, and in identifying disaster victims. Such cases, especially those involving famous people, are widely reported in the media and are of interest to the general population. Also, many people will be called to serve on juries in cases where DNA evidence is presented. As statistical concepts are involved in evaluating such evidence, "DNA fingerprinting" as a topic can be used to introduce statistical analysis to undergraduates. If a non-mathematical approach is taken many concepts can be taught to secondary school children, extending their understanding of statistics while holding their interest with practical " real-life" examples.
- Prof Dev