DNA is seen as an ultimate tool– an inarguable truth. It has the power to convict, and the power to exonerate. But in this lively talk, Dr. Greg Hampikian shows that even DNA can make mistakes.
Dr. Hampikian is a professor of Biology and Criminal Justice at Boise State University. A Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, his research includes identifying the smallest DNA sequences absent from nature that he calls Nullomers. Using these sequences Dr. Hampikian has invented a method of tagging DNA samples to prevent contamination of forensic evidence, and 198 drugs that are effective against cancer cells. In 2013 he was awarded the Liberty Bell Award for his work in justice, and in 2014 the Idaho Innocence Project under his leadership freed Sarah Pearce after 12 years in Idaho prisons. He is a renowned forensic DNA expert and has worked on high profile cases around the world including that of Amanda Knox. He has helped with more than a dozen exonerations, and worked on hundreds of cases, recently helping the French police use Familiar DNA to solve a decade old murder.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx