Building of the World’s Largest DNA Database: The China Case

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Bernotaite, Ausma
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Shrivastava, Pankaj

Dash, Hirak Ranjan

Jose A., Lorente

Imam, Jahangir

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Started only in 2005, China has already entered 68 million profiles into its National DNA Database (NDNAD), according to the data presented by NDNAD governing agency—the Chinese Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Public Security, at the Asian Forensic Sciences Network in September 2018, Beijing, China. Following the data presented by the same government agency at the International Society for Forensic Genetics in 2017, Seoul, Korea, the database grew to the said number from a reported 55 million profiles in less than 1 year. This number implies that by the number of profiles entered, the Chinese NDNAD is by far the largest in the world, followed by 17,530,781 profiles in the National DNA Index of the United States of America in 2018 and 6,024,032 profiles in the NDNAD of the United Kingdom in 2017. Additionally, National Missing Children DNA Database was created in 2009 to include genetic data from parents and their children. While large in the mere count of profiles included, it currently covers a relatively low percentage of approximately 4.5% of the Chinese population and has not provided globally comparable match, or hit, rates for criminal case inquiries. Despite its rapid expansion and swift adoption of emerging genetic technologies, little effort has been made to share the developmental details of the database. This chapter serves as a short summary to trace the development timeline, goals, technological applications, main actors, as well as the biggest achievements and future plans of the Chinese NDNAD. It is concluded with the emphasis for the need to ground national databases in strong socio-legal considerations.

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Forensic DNA Typing: Principles, Applications and Advancements

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© 2020 Springer. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. It is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the publisher’s website for further information.

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Data management and data science

Forensic biology

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Bernotaite, A, Building of the World’s Largest DNA Database: The China Case, Forensic DNA Typing: Principles, Applications and Advancements, 2020, pp. 639-658