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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

MtDNA and Non-Related Individuals

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National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

MtDNA typing, like nuclear typing, compares known reference samples to DNA evidence samples of unknown origin obtained from a crime scene. Two comparisons are performed during analysis. First, when a sample is sequenced, it is compared to the Cambridge Reference Sequence, which is an internationally accepted standard, and the differences are identified. Then, the known and unknown samples are compared to see if the differences identified "match." The comparison may result in the known donor being excluded or not excluded as the source of the DNA evidence in question. Sometimes the sample comparisons will yield inconclusive results as to whether the known donor is the source of the evidence sample.

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