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Processing DNA Evidence for Identification

You have been asked to list and explain the steps that you would use to identify and analyze DNA from a person who has been in prison for 10 years. The results of your test may exonerate the person.
Once the physical evidence has been delivered to the forensics lab, what is the process of identifying DNA? Be specific, and explain in detail.
Consider that the evidence is over 10-years old.
Once the DNA evidence has been identified, what is the process of analyzing the DNA? Be specific, and explain in detail.
What challenges exist that can make your analysis inadmissible in court? Explain.
How are tissue matches made? Explain.
Why is it important to utilize different DNA testing methods? Explain.
Why is it that some methods may be preferred over others? Explain.
Other than forensic uses, DNA testing is essential in paternity testing.
What are the steps used to carry out a paternity test? Explain in detail.
Why might the results of a paternity test be significant in a court case? Explain.
Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

Solution Preview

http://nij.gov/topics/forensics/evidence/dna/basics/Pages/analyzing.aspx

Once the physical evidence has been delivered to the forensics lab, what is the process of identifying DNA? Be specific, and explain in detail.

After the physical evidence has been collected from the scene, forensic scientists must first extract the DNA from its biological source material. The next step that must be taken to identify the DNA entails measuring the DNA to evaluate the quantity of DNA recovered. Once the forensic scientists has isolated the DNA from its cells, the forensic investigator must use PCR or polymerase chain reaction as the technique to copy specific regions of the DNA for testing. The next step involves separating PCR products to detect specific characteristics within the STR region being examined. The two primary methods for this are slab gel and capillary electrophoresis (CE). It's imperative to note that this technique is used for criminal investigations and paternity tests. After this process has been completed, a DNA profile will emerge that is a combination of individual STR genotypes, which must then be compared to other samples. For the purposes of "freeing" (your) client in a forensic investigation, these other samples must include the reference samples that were obtained over 10 years ago ...

Solution Summary

The solution examines the process of identifying 10-year old DNA evidence. The challenges which exist that can make your analysis inadmissible in court is determined.

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