DNA forensics

DNA forensics

uses of DNA evidence in FORENSIC investigation. Examples of uses include: identification of potential suspects, by determining whether there is a match between DNA found at a crime scene and the suspect; identification of crime and catastrophe victims; establishment of paternity relationships; detection of BACTERIA/other organisms in water, soil, food and other samples. DNA typing or profiling (see DNA FINGERPRINTING) is employed for identification/comparative purposes, by analysis of DNA sequences unique to the species/organism. Identification within species is more difficult than between species, but should be facilitated by GENOMICS. Whole genome sequence information should allow precise identification of an individual.

Sources of DNA for human identification include BLOOD, SEMEN, tissues, hair roots, SALIVA and URINE. POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION is used to amplify the DNA in the samples for subsequent analysis. DNA typing exploits polymorphic loci (see GENETIC POLYMORPHISM), for example VTNRs (see MINISATELLITE DNA) and STRs, in the human genome. A number of DNA regions, that vary from person to person, are scanned to create a DNA profile. There is an extremely small chance that another individual will have the same DNA profile. Anomalous results may arise due, for example, to breakdown of the original structure of the DNA in the sample, or to contamination.

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