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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Biological and Laboratory Issues

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The end of a piece of hair, with a DNA profile in the foreground
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Recent advances in forensic DNA technology have enabled scientists to successfully analyze smaller, limited, degraded, and mixed biological samples. Therefore, any otherwise suitable biological sample that still exists, regardless of age, may be considered for DNA analysis.

For example, shed hairs previously examined only microscopically can now undergo mitochondrial DNA analysis.

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