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DNA Profiling: For Positive Identification

NCJ Number
Date Published
6 pages

This article reviews the nature of and the scientific and legal status of DNA profiling.


Following a brief history of DNA technology and its acceptance as evidence by the courts, the article discusses the nature of DNA. DNA provides the genetic code that determines the finite building blocks that compose individual characteristics. With the use of multiple DNA probes of samples of body fluid and hair, an individual can be identified to a certainty of one in a million. Some of the DNA testing facilities are listed. They include government as well as private labs. Other topics discussed are DNA caselaw, standards and quality assurance, how DNA testing can help a law enforcement agency, how to collect and preserve DNA samples, training in DNA analysis, obstacles to accepting DNA technology, data base building, and the future of DNA profiling. This report concludes that DNA profiling methods have proven that almost any dried human biological material can be put through the DNA fingerprinting process and establish positive human identification beyond all reasonable doubt. The ability to classify such information, catalog it, and later run it through a search and compare it with other test results is critical for law enforcement. 27 selected readings.

Date Published: January 1, 1990