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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.
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...............
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
| Created by Theodore D. Kessis |
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