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        DNA Identification Technologies

Below you will find information and links describing the current forms of forensic DNA testing currently utilized in identity testing. 


PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)

Since the early 1990's, the use of DNA testing in the forensic arena has grown nearly exponentially.  The primary driving force behind this explosion in testing was the development of a laboratory process known as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Frequently analogized to genetic Xeroxing, PCR is capable of turning small un-testable amounts of DNA into easily analyzable quantities...............

STR Analysis

Currently, PCR is utilized to copy regions of the DNA found in the nucleus of cells.  Residing within these areas of the DNA molecule are regions termed Short Tandem Repeats (STRs).  Because STRs tend to vary between individuals, tests design to detect them are capable of generating high powers of discrimination between the profiles of different individuals.............  

Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

In addition to the DNA found within the nucleus of cells, another form of DNA, Mitochodrial DNA (mtDNA), exists outside the nucleus. One interesting aspect of mtDNA is its pattern of maternal inheritance.   Given this pattern, the mtDNA profile a individual posses is theoretically identical to that of their sibling, their mother, and her mother etc...  Because of this fact, mtDNA testing has a lower power of discrimination between individuals and thus limited utility ................
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