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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

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screenshot of a DNA sequencing computer program
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

The use of mtDNA as a forensic tool evolved from its role in the study of human history and human disease. mtDNA analysis solved several historical mysteries, such as the identification of the Czar's remains in Russia and the skeleton of Jesse James. Anthropologists have recovered mtDNA from Neanderthal skeletons at least 30,000 years old.

This type of forensic analysis routinely aids in identification of war dead, including a serviceman who served in Vietnam now buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It also augmented STR testing of remains from the World Trade Center attacks (9/11/01).

Online Link - view the Forensic Science Communications article, "The mtDNA Population Database:  An Integrated Software and Database Resource for Forensic Comparison."

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