Low Copy Number DNA

After PMQs I dashed over to College Green to shoot for Spotlight – a Northern Ireland news program with a good reputation. They were tracking DNA (so to speak) and in particular Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA.

They had picked up on my track record of challenging some of the issues around this super-detection tool and apparently there is a big case in Northern Ireland concerning DNA. The thing about LCN DNA in particular is that it can use something as small or infinitesimal as a single cell found at a crime scene – which sounds great at first because you think, “that means it’s much easier to track down criminals as you don’t need as much evidence to identify them.”

But – my argument is that I shake hands with people all day long and therefore my LCN DNA will be in their clothes, houses, offices etc. It will end up all over the place, on people and in places I haven’t had anything to do with. So LCN DNA should only be used cautiously – and only with corroborating evidence.

I also met up with World Development Movement who are busy lobbying ahead of the introduction of the Climate Change Bill. We are on the same page apparently (hate that expression!) in the key issues around how climate change will hit the ultra poor countries of the developing world much, much harder than us in the Northern hemisphere – so it is both a development and an environmental issue.

So we talked over how to challenge some of the issues in the current proposals and how to get them amended to include things like annual targets for carbon emissions and a development expert on the panels etc.