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DNA Print Identification Test: A New and Valuable Tool in the Investigation of Violent Crime

NCJ Number
Detective Dated: (Spring 1989) Pages: 5-10
H F Sharpe
Date Published
6 pages
In the last 5 years, molecular biologists and geneticists have developed the first positive tests for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) identification that can establish conclusively the identity of a biological sample or determine paternity with scientific certainty.
DNA identification is based on finding intact DNA molecules in blood, semen, or body tissues and comparing the results with samples from a suspect. DNA has been shown to be highly resistant to many of the forces of nature and is particularly stable in dried specimens. Successful forensic DNA tests have been conducted on evidence that was more than 4 years old. The test process begins by chemically extracting the DNA strands from a biological specimen. The DNA is then purified and cut into fragments by restriction enzymes. DNA coding can identify individuals based on tiny amounts of blood, semen, skin tissue, or hair root. It is useful for identifying both suspects and victims. DNA forensic testing is currently available through several private laboratories. 7 reference notes.