Forensic DNA Analysis

Forensic DNA analysis is a relatively new field of forensic science. It was introduced only after British geneticists Sir Alec Jeffreys (born 1950)developed techniques for DNA fingerprinting in 1985.

The Process of Forensic DNA Analysis

The process of forensic DNA analysis begins with obtaining samples containing DNA such as bodily fluids (blood, saliva, semen), tissue samples, bones or hair that are found on the scene of crime, victim or personal items. After the DNA is contracted, most often by using short tandem repeat analysis, an identification of the suspect is searched for in DNA databases.

DNA Databases

Forensic DNA analysis relies greatly on DNA databases. These are collections of genetic codes which allow forensic scientists to identify a person, of course if he/she is already in the database. The largest DNA database is the Combined DNA Index System which is managed by the United States government. In 2007, it held more than 5 million genetic codes. The UK has its own DNA database, known as the National DNA Database (NDNAD) which contains almost as much DNA profiles as that in the United States despite the fact that the UK has smaller population. The NDNAD was founded in 1995 and in March 2012, it contained nearly 6 millions profiles.

Notable Cases Involving the Use of Forensic DNA Analysis