Determining parent

Gerald Pier gpier at warren.med.harvard.edu
Thu Sep 14 17:45:42 EST 1995

Depends on your belief in statistics and the test used.  When blood group
antigens don't match (between child and putative parent) you can exclude
someone as a parent.  When they do it could be anyone with the same
genotype.  Blood group antigens don't give a high level of discrimination
because many people share the same blood groups.  If you go to DNA based
testing, the probability of a match diminishes, but it still comes down to
a statistical argument and the validity of the database used to generate
the statistical likelihood that two samples could come from the same
person.   See the O.J. Simpson trial for more (and more and more and more,
ad naseum) on this subject.  It's the same issue: if the blood matches
(i.e. OJ, the parent being tested or whoever) there is a statistical
likelihood that someone else has that same DNA pattern.  If you belive it
likely you acquit OJ and buy Johnny Cochran's book when it comes out (but
you probably ought to go to that newsgroup for more discussion on this
particular point).

Jerry Pier
Harvard Medical School
In article <bforrest-1309951652460001 at bforrest.tor.hookup.net>,
bforrest at hookup.net (brian forrest) wrote:

> I though this might be a good newsgroup to post this question?
> I was under the impression that a simple blood test could absolutely prove 
> that someone was NOT the parent of a particular child, but that it could
> not prove conclusively that someone WAS the parent. Is this true?
> -- 
> Brian Forrest
> Visions Internet
> Web sites and Multimedia
> Not one dollar gets made until someone sells something to somebody

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