Lee, Steven B. Forensic Science Group, Justice Studies Department, San Jose University, San Jose, California.
Last reviewed:May 2018
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- Evidence detection and screening
- DNA extraction
- DNA quantification
- DNA amplification
- DNA separation and detection
- Forensic genetic markers
- Short tandem repeats
- Mitochondrial DNA
- Y chromosome markers
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The scientific analysis of biological evidence to provide objective information on legal matters or those that pertain to criminal and civil law. Biological evidence such as bodily fluids or tissues that may be found at crime scenes can be analyzed through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) typing. Typing requires detection and screening of the biological evidence, such as blood, semen, or saliva, extracting the DNA from a specimen, amplifying specific regions of the DNA using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and typing the resulting PCR products to determine a DNA profile. The DNA profile from the evidence is then compared to known profiles from suspects, victims, or database samples to determine the significance of the result (Fig. 1). Samples containing mixtures require additional interpretation to infer individual donor allele designations. Forensic biologists must also assess the statistical significance of their results, write reports, and testify in court. See also: Criminalistics; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Gene
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