DNA

How forensic DNA is collected, extracted, and profiled

DNA forensic analysis has come a long way since it was first developed in the early 1980s and commercially available in the late 1980s.  Improvements in collection, quantification, and amplification techniques have meant that forensic technicians – the men and women employed by places like the State Bureau of Investigation – are now able to…

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How to explain away forensic DNA at a crime scene

Let’s assume that a lab has come back with a report that a person’s DNA was found at a crime scene, and let’s assume that the technician at the lab hasn’t committed some kind of fraud.  For instance, let’s assume that the technician hasn’t falsified the results.  What could explain a person’s DNA at a…

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Basic overview of DNA and its use in Forensic Analysis

Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a substance that contains the genetic instructions in all human beings (and nearly all life, with the exception of certain viruses).  Think of DNA has a ladder that spirals.  The two long spokes of the ladder are called nucleotides.  The rungs of the ladder contain the molecules, called bases, that…

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DNA Database Expanded by the North Carolina General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a new law this week that would expand the state’s DNA database by allowing police agencies to collect DNA samples from suspects when they are charged with certain crimes. The bill authorizes law enforcement to hold people who refuse to give a sample. If charges are dropped or the…

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