bio term paper - Andrew Fausett 12/6/06 Mon/6pm Biology...

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Andrew Fausett 12/6/06 Mon/6pm Biology 1111 Professor Ibim How DNA is used in Forensics DNA has been around for several years now and ways for testing it have been discovered which has helped police solve many crimes, from murders to rape, criminals leave behind trace evidence of themselves called DNA. It can be left behind in form of a piece of hair, blood, semen, skin, saliva or even a fingernail. It can be so small that the naked eye may miss it, but the DNA can tie to you to the crime. This paper will discuss what DNA is, how they test it, how it is used in forensics, and some history of forensics in DNA. This is how identifying people from their DNA works. Any type of organism can be identified by looking at the DNA sequences unique to that species. Identifying individuals within a species is less precise at this time, although when DNA sequencing technologies progress farther, direct comparison of very large DNA segments, and possibly even whole genomes, will become feasible and practical and will allow exact individual identification. To identify individuals, forensic scientists scan 13 DNA regions that vary from person to person and use the data to create a DNA profile of that individual, sometimes called a DNA fingerprint. There is an extremely small chance that another person has the same DNA profile for a particular set of regions. DNA is very effective in proving the guilt of a person. DNA identification can be quite effective if used intelligently. Portions of the DNA sequence that
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vary the most among humans must be used; also, portions must be large enough to overcome the fact that human mating is not absolutely random. Consider the scenario of a crime scene investigation . . . Assume that type O blood is found at the crime scene. Type O occurs in about 45% of Americans. If investigators type only for ABO, then finding that the "suspect" in a crime is type O really doesn't reveal very much. If, in addition to being type O, the suspect is a blond, and blond hair is found at the crime scene, then you now have two bits of evidence to suggest who really did it. However, there are a lot of Type O blonds out there. If you find that the crime scene has footprints from a pair of Nike Air Jordans (with a distinctive tread design) and the suspect, in addition to being type O and blond, is also wearing Air Jordans with the same tread design, then you are much closer to linking the suspect with the crime scene. In this way, by accumulating bits of linking evidence in a chain, where each bit by itself isn't very strong but the set of
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course CRIMINAL J 1101 taught by Professor Marchman during the Spring '08 term at Gordon GA.

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bio term paper - Andrew Fausett 12/6/06 Mon/6pm Biology...

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