by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted March 21, 2009 in DNA and the Law
Two years ago, identical twin brothers Raymon and Richard Miller both had sex with the same woman who became pregnant. The court decided Raymon was the legal father although the DNA paternity test couldn’t provide definitive proof.
In February, millions of dollars worth of jewelry was stolen in Berlin. Two of the suspects are identical (monozygotic) twins, Hassan and Abbas O. DNA analysis showed that one or both of them were probably at the scene of the crime but it’s impossible to tell. If only one of the brothers is guilty, investigators can’t tell for sure which one it is.
In reality, identical twins do not have perfectly identical DNA due to epigenomic chemical modifications and DNA copy number variations. But until more sophisticated DNA analyses become more widely available or other evidence comes to light, Hassan and Abbas are free and have not been charged. (Spiegel Online via Boing Boing)
Identical twins be forewarned. You may be able to get away with it now, but your time is coming.
NB: In Malaysia, investigators were unable to figure out which one of a pair of identical twins trafficked 166 kilograms of cannabis and 1.7 kilograms of opium. A judge dismissed the case and both twins were set free. (Telegraph)
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