After much criticism from the scientific community, the UK Border Agency has abandoned its plan to use DNA and isotope testing of human tissue to verify the national origins of asylum seekers, reports ScienceInsider's John Travis. The UKBA reportedly spent £190,000 on the project which, Travis says, was "widely scorned." When the project was conceived in 2009, geneticists pointed out that a person's DNA might reveal their ancestry but could never prove nationality. UKBA suspended the pilot project not long after it was announced, but said it would continue taking tissue samples from asylum seekers on a voluntary basis "in order to test the usefulness of DNA testing and isotope analysis," Travis says. Now that the study has been abandoned, the agency said it doesn't plan to publish any of the data it collected or any evaluation of the project itself, he adds.
So Much for That: Jun 22, 2011
Jun 22, 2011