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p rst and foremost, we would l e to express my s ncere grat tude to my report gu de, +‘
,‘#"‘ ""&‘ . We were pr  leged to exper ence a susta ned enthus ast c and
noled nterest from h s s de. Th s fuelled our enthus asm een further and encouraged us
to boldly step nto what was a totally dar and unexplored expanse before us.
We would also l e to than our sen ors who were ready w th a pos t e comment all the
t me, whether t was an offhand comment to encourage us or a construct e p ece of
cr t c sm.
We would l e to than the   ‘staff members and the nst tute, n general, for extend ng a
help ng hand at eery juncture of need. We would l e to express our grat tude towards our
parents for the r  nd cooperat on and encouragement wh ch help us n complet on of th s
Last but not least, our thans and apprec at ons also go to our colleagues n deelop ng the
project and people who hae w ll ngly helped us out w th the r ab l t es.‘


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Th s project nest gated the mpact of the new technology of DNA f ngerpr nt ng on soc ety,
espec ally the legal system and database eth cs. Our conclus ons propose an expans on of
DNA databases to nclude nd  duals con cted of any felony, not just  olent cr mes. The
benef t to soc ety of such DNA databases to dent fy unnown corpses, determ ne patern ty,
place a suspect at the scene of a cr me, deelop leads where otherw se there were none, and
l n cr mes to dent fy ser al cr m nals outwe ghs any pr acy ssues espec ally for con cted

4‘ ‘
p e decades ago, Watson and Cr c d scoered the secrets of DNA structure. DNA
p ngerpr nt ng, or DNA prof l ng, was f rst adopted n 1984 by Oxford Un ers ty educated
Alec Jeffreys. Jeffrey's d scoery opened a whole new world that, once proen and perfected,
would unloc marers to  sual e each person's un ue dent ty. Ins de each human be ng, as
well as plants, an mals, and m croorgan sms, l es a un ue DNA structure. Today, DNA
p ngerpr nt ng s "rap dly becom ng the pr mary method for dent fy ng and d st ngu sh ng
nd  dual human be ngs´ (Betsch, 1994). Some of the appl cat ons of DNA f ngerpr nt ng
techn ues nclude: murder cases, rape cases, patern ty test ng, d agnos s of nher ted
d sorders, m l tary dent f cat on, and molecular archaeology. porens c DNA analys s has
been adm tted nto Un ted States courtrooms s nce 1987. DNA prof l ng does not cla m to be
an absolute dent f cat on, but may be ery strong e dence and s cons dered to be just one
part of the ent re case. DNA prof l ng s used pr mar ly n sexual assault cases. Pr or to DNA
test ng, labs were l m ted regard ng the amount of genet c nformat on that could be obta ned
from e dence samples. Now w th DNA test ng, the genet c content of the e dence sample
tself can be exam ned. In the case of a rape nest gat on, four prof les are formed: the f rst s
a DNA prof le from the blood of the  ct m, the second DNA prof le s formed from the
blood of the defendant, th rdly a ag nal swab s taen, and the female and male fract ons are
separated and prof led separately. The  ct m¶s blood prof le and the ag nal swab prof le
should match alleles. The defendant¶s blood sample prof le should match the male fract on
prof le n order to cons der h m as a suspect. It s mportant to remember that DNA prof l ng

does not ncr m nate a suspect w th absolute certa nty but f the prof les don¶t 5 match t can
exclude w th absolute certa nty. In the case of l ely matches, stat st cs are used to determ ne
the freuency that th s DNA prof le l ely appears n the general human populat on
"S nce the d scoery of DNA f ngerpr nt ng at the turn of the 20th century, sc ence has
assumed an ncreas ngly mportant and powerful role n the dec s on ma ng process of our
jud c al branch" (B ancamano, 1996). Many Landmar cases, wh ch set the standards for
adm tt ng DNA nto the courtroom, as well as the rel ab l ty and acceptab l ty of DNA
techn ues, w ll be d scussed to proe the methods used today are al d and rel able when
performed properly. Some of the earl er cases that w ll be taled about d d not actually
nole DNA, but what they d d accompl sh was to set precedence by establ sh ng new rules
for adm ttance of techn cal e dence, and to set new generally accepted sc ent f c standards n
the court of law. Some of these landmar cases nclude: prye . Un ted States n 1923,
pederal Rules of E dence 702 (Rule 702) n 1975, Col n P tchfor n 1986, Andrews 
plor da n 1988, People  Castro n 1989, Two Bulls  US n 1990, and the case of Paul
Eugene Rob nson n 2003 where the DNA e dence was the pr mary bas s of the con ct on
of sexual assault.

DNA f ngerpr nt ng s a powerful new technology, wh ch s used to ass st n con ct ng
the gu lty and exonerat ng the nnocent. The top c of DNA f ngerpr nt ng howeer rema ns
controers al n the courtroom regard ng techn cal ssues, and also has legal, cultural and
pol t cal conseuences. Th s controersy s ma nly der ed from the lac of nowledge
regard ng the procedures of DNA f ngerpr nt ng, how t s obta ned, analyed, and reported.
The purpose of th s project s to help to el m nate the publ c¶s doubt, concern ng DNA
f ngerpr nt ng and help them to conert the r reserat ons about the sc ence nto support for
the use of DNA f ngerpr nt ng n the courtroom. The focus of th s paper w ll be d rected
toward the layperson n order to target the prospect e populat on of jurors. Jurors are
members of our commun ty who are reu red to ealuate the releance of all e dence
nclud ng DNA e dence. Thus, once they are on a jury, and DNA e dence s brought n,
they w ll be able to comprehend the data and mae an nformed erd ct. Th s paper w ll coer

the pr mary areas of the publ c¶s concerns, as well as pro de h story of DNA analys s, and
future adances of the sc ence for adm ss on nto the courtroom. Descr pt on of the lab report,
as well as the actual data used to formulate the lab report w ll help the publ c deelop an
apprec at on for the formulat on of the results of the actual test ng. The object e of th s paper
was accompl shed by f rst, outl n ng the sc ence of the ma n techn ues of DNA
f ngerpr nt ng n laymen¶s terms. Secondly the project descr bes the processes of collect on,
storage, and preent on of contam nat on of the DNA e dence. Th rdly, landmar DNA
court cases that establ shed legal precedents for adm tt ng DNA n U.S. courts w ll be
re s ted and analyed. Lastly, many of the controers es regard ng the DNA databases w ll
be analyed. Th s project not only nforms the reader about the facts of the h story of DNA 8
f ngerpr nt ng, but t w ll also ent ce the reader to encourage and support the use of DNA
e dence n the courtroom.The oerall goal of th s paper s for the reader to wal away w th
an understand ng of DNA f ngerpr nt ng¶s pos t e mpact on soc ety.


)+.‘6Deoxyribonucleic acidÀ2‘
Deoxyr bonucle c ac d, more commonly nown as DNA, s the complex chem cal structure
that un uely dent f es each and eery organ sm. An organ sm¶s complete set of DNA s
nown as a genome. DNA s the fundamental bu ld ng bloc of the genome (An Introduct on
to DNA, 2002). DNA s located ns de an organ sm's chromosomes.

"DNA itself is a double-helix polymer. A polymer is simply a large molecule that is

produced by several smaller units linking together and forming a chain" (Rohloff, 2000).

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DNA p ngerpr nt ng, or DNA prof l ng, was f rst adopted n 1984 by Oxford Un ers ty
educated Alec Jeffreys. Jeffreys stumbled upon th s theory wh le wor ng on myoglob n, the
gene that codes for an ronconta n ng prote n n muscles.
Jeffrey's d scoery opened a whole new world that, once proen and perfected, would unloc
each person's un ue dent ty. Ins de each and eery human be ng, as well as plants, an mals,
and m croorgan sms, l es a un ue DNA structure .Conent onal f ngerpr nts occur only on
the f ngert ps, and are capable of be ng altered, but a DNA f ngerpr nt s the same for"eery
cell, t ssue, and organ of a person´. DNA s ncapable of be ng altered, and s "rap dly
becom ng the pr mary method for dent fy ng and d st ngu sh ng among nd  dual human
be ngs´. In sc ence, DNA p ngerpr nt ng does not po nt to a un ue nd  dual. Howeer, t
pro des a prof le, and then the probab l ty that there are others who also match the prof le s
determ ned lead ng to the match or con ct on. So what s DNA f ngerpr nt ng used for?
Some of the appl cat ons of DNA f ngerpr nt ng techn ues nclude: murder cases, rape cases,
patern ty test ng, d agnos s of nher ted d sorders, m l tary dent f cat on, and molecular
In th s chapter, we w ll explore each appl cat on, as well as s mpl fy DNA for the aerage
person, show how to run a f ngerpr nt, trace ts growth and mpact on soc ety, and loo
toward future uses such as nat onal DNA databases and DNA f ngerpr nts as one day
becom ng our Nat onal Ident f cat on Cards.

pig:-The clues to murder mysteries and crime are found in the minute evidence of blood
and body fluids. The solution to many crimes is found in DNA 'fingerprinting'

DNA prof l ng (also called DNA test ng, DNA typ ng, or genet c f ngerpr nt ng) s a
techn ue employed by forens c sc ent sts to ass st n the dent f cat on of nd  duals by the r
respect e DNA prof les. DNA prof les are encrypted sets of numbers that reflect a person's
DNA maeup, wh ch can also be used as the person's dent f er.

Although 99.9% of human DNA seuences are the same n eery person, enough of the DNA
s d fferent to d st ngu sh one nd  dual from another. DNA prof l ng uses repet t e
("repeat") seuences that are h ghly ar able, called ar able number tandem repeats (VNTR).
VNTRs loc are ery s m lar between closely related humans, but so ar able that unrelated
nd  duals are extremely unl ely to hae the same VNTRs.

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Each type of base on one strand forms a bond w th just one type of base on the other strand.
Th s s called complementary base pa r ng. Here, pur nes form hydrogen bonds to
pyr m d nes, w th A bond ng only to T, and C bond ng only to G. Th s arrangement of two
nucleot des b nd ng together across the double hel x s called a base pa r. As hydrogen bonds
are not coalent, they can be broen and rejo ned relat ely eas ly. The two strands of DNA
n a double hel x can therefore be pulled apart l e a  pper, e ther by a mechan cal force or
h gh temperature. As a result of th s complementar ty, all the nformat on n the double
stranded seuence of a DNA hel x s dupl cated on each strand, wh ch s  tal n DNA
repl cat on. Indeed, th s reers ble and spec f c nteract on between complementary base pa rs
s cr t cal for all the funct ons of DNA n l  ng organ sms.


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W th n each DNA strand are numbers of genes that determ ne the part cular character st cs of
an nd  dual. Wh le about 5% of the gene compos t ons on DNA conta n th s type of genet c
nformat on, the other 95% do not. Howeer, of the 95%, these noncod ng genes conta n
dent f able repet t e seuences of base pa rs, wh ch are called Var able Number Tandem
Repeats (VNTR). To extract a DNA f ngerpr nt, a Southern blot s performed and the DNA
s analyed  a a rad oact e probe. The restr ct on fragment length polymorph sm analys s s
used to detect the repeated seuences by determ n ng a spec f c pattern to the VNTR, wh ch
becomes the person's DNA f ngerpr nt. The drawbac w th th s system s that t reu res a
cons derable amount of DNA n order to be used.

The polymerase cha n react on (PCR) was deeloped by Karry Mull s of the Cetus
Corporat on n 1983 for use n research laborator es for establ sh ng hered tary
authent cat on. The PCR analys s ampl f es the DNA molecules us ng a smaller sample. On
the forens c front, the PCR found to be useful n dent fy ng DNA f ngerpr nts n cr m nal
matters and n patern ty tests because t reu res less amounts of DNA because t maes
dent cal cop es of the DNA sample. The PCR analys s ampl f ed solated reg ons on the
strands of the DNA under exam nat on. The drawbac was that t was not as d scr m nat ng
as the RpLP.

Ampl f ed fragment length polymorph sm (AmppLP) came nto ogue n the 90's and s st ll
popular n the smaller countr es noled n the process of DNA f ngerpr nt ng. It rema ns
attract e because of ts relat ely less compl cated operat on and the costeffect eness of
the procedure. By us ng the PCR analys s to ampl fy the m n satell te loc of the human cell,
th s method proed u cer n recoery than the RpLP. Howeer, due to the use of gel n ts
analys s phase, there are ssues of bunch ng of the VTRN's, caus ng m s dent f cat ons n the

The short tandem repeat (STR) methodology for extract ng DNA s the system most w dely
used form of DNA f ngerpr nt ng. Th s system s based on the features of PCR, as t ut l es

spec f c areas that hae short seuent al repeat DNA. The STR analyes how many t mes
base pa rs repeat themseles on a part cular locat on on a strand of DNA. The b g adantage
n th s method s that the DNA compar sons can match the poss b l t es nto an almost

DNA f ngerpr nt ng has been extremely successful for use n the personal dent f cat on of
cr m nal suspects, patern ty ssues, as well as n dent f cat on of the deceased. DNA,
howeer, st ll poses ssues because the VNTRs are not eenly d str buted n all people
because they are nher ted. In add t on, there s st ll the human element as the f nal o ce n
the adm n strat on of all DNA f ngerpr nt ng procedures. Howeer, as forens c sc ence
cont nues ts wor n DNA test ng, there appears to be no l m t to the alue t can render to
soc ety.

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The ey to DNA prof l ng s to mae a compar son of un ue loc of the DNA left at the
cr me scene w th a suspect¶s DNA. The port on of the genome where there s a lot of
d ers ty among nd  duals s called polymorph c reg ons. The polymorph c reg ons used for
forens cs are the noncod ng reg ons. These are the reg ons of the DNA that do not code for
prote ns and they maeup 95% of our genet c DNA. These reg ons are therefore called the
³jun´ port on of the DNA. Although these ³jun´ reg ons do not generate prote ns, they can
regulate gene express on, they a d n the read ng of other genes that do formulate the prote ns,
and they are a large port on of the chromosome structure (How DNA E dence Wors, 2004).
The noncod ng DNA reg ons are madeup of length polymorph sms, wh ch are ar at ons n
the phys cal length of the DNA molecule. The DNA prof le analyes the length
polymorph sms n the noncod ng areas. These polymorph sms are dent cal repeat seuences
of DNA base pa rs. The number of tandem repeats at spec f c loc on the chromosome ar es
between nd  duals. por any spec f c loc , there w ll be a certa n number of repeats. These
repeat reg ons are class f ed nto groups depend ng on the s e of the repeat reg on. Var able
number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) hae repeats of 980 base pa rs. Short tandem repeats
dSTRs) conta n 25 base pa r repeats (Br ef Introduct on to STRs, 2004). por each of our 23
pa rs of chromosomes, we nher t one copy of each chromosome from our mother and the
other from our father. ³Th s means that you hae two cop es of each VNTR locus, just l e

you hae two cop es of real genes (p gure4). If you hae the same number of seuence
repeats at a part cular VNTR s te, you are called homoygous at that s te; f you hae a
d fferent number of repeats, you are sa d to be heteroygous´ (How DNA E dence Wors,

‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘#‘.2‘The d agram aboe d splays three poss ble VNTR comb nat ons.

DNA analys s s a laboratory procedure that reu res a number of steps. There are a number
of techn ues used by d fferent laborator es, howeer n th s paper two techn ues w ll be
re ewed: Restr ct on pragment Length Polymorph sm (RpLP), and Polymerase Cha n
React on (PCR) us ng Short Tandem Repeats (STRs).
The f rst step n both procedures noles the extract on and pur f cat on of the DNA. Before
a DNA sample can be analyed, the DNA needs to be solated from the other organ c and
nonorgan c port ons of the sample. The type of sample w ll determ ne the techn ue used to
solate the DNA. The sample may be bo led w th a detergent that breas down the prote ns
and other cellular mater al but does not affect the DNA. Enymes may be added to brea
down prote ns and other cellular mater al. Organ c solents may be used to separate the DNA
from the other organ c and nonorgan c mater al. The DNA s then separated from the
prote ns and othercellular mater al (DNA porens cs, Problem Set 1, 2004).

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The process beg ns w th a sample of an nd  dual's DNA (typ cally called a "reference
sample"). The most des rable method of collect ng a reference sample s the use of a buccal
swab, as th s reduces the poss b l ty of contam nat on. When th s s not aa lable (e.g.
because a court order may be needed and not obta nable) other methods may need to be used
to collect a sample of blood, sal a, semen, or other appropr ate flu d or t ssue from personal
tems (e.g. toothbrush, raor, etc.) or from stored samples (e.g. baned sperm or b opsy
t ssue). Samples obta ned from blood relat es (b olog cal relat e) can pro de an nd cat on
of an nd  dual's prof le, as could human rema ns wh ch had been pre ously prof led.

w‘ DNA can be extracted from almost any human t ssue.
w‘ Buccal cells from ns de chee for patern ty tests.
w‘ Sources of DNA at cr me scene: blood, semen, ha r foll cle, sal a.
w‘ DNA extracted from e dence s compared to DNA from nown nd  duals.


Restr ct on enymes are enymes solated from bacter a that recogn e spec f c seuences n
DNA and then cut the DNA to produce fragments, called restr ct on fragments. Restr ct on
enymes play a ery mportant role n the construct on of recomb nant DNA molecules, as s
done n gene clon ng exper ments. Another appl cat on of restr ct on enymes s to map the
locat ons of restr ct on s tes n DNA. Spec al enymes called /%!‘A&/ are used to
cut the DNA at spec f c places. por example, an enyme called EcoR1, found n bacter a, w ll
cut DNA only when the seuence GAATTC occurs. The DNA p eces are sorted accord ng to
s e by a s e ng techn ue called %!"!//. The DNA p eces are passed through a gel
made from seaweed agarose (a jellyl e product made from seaweed). Th s techn ue s the
DNA eu alent of screen ng sand through progress ely f ner mesh screens to determ ne
part cle s es.

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Agarose gel electrophores s s a method used n b ochem stry and molecular b ology to
separate a m xed populat on of DNA and RNA fragments by length, to est mate the s e of
DNA and RNA fragments or to separate prote ns by charge. Nucle c ac d molecules are
separated by apply ng an electr c f eld to moe the negat ely charged molecules through an
agarose matr x. Shorter molecules moe faster and m grate farther than longer ones because
shorter molecules m grate more eas ly through the pores of the gel. Th s phenomenon s
called s e ng. Prote ns are separated by charge n agarose because the pores of the gel are
too large to s ee prote ns.

"Electrophores s" refers to the electromot e force (EMp) that s used to moe the molecules
through the gel matr x. By plac ng the molecules n wells n the gel and apply ng an electr c
f eld, the molecules w ll moe through the matr x at d fferent rates, determ ned largely by
the r mass when the charge to mass rat o (Z) of all spec es s un form, toward the anode f
negat ely charged or toward the cathode f pos t ely charged.


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Typ cally 1030 ȝl/sample of the DNA fragments to separate are obta ned, as well as a
m xture of DNA fragments (usually 1020) of nown s e (after process ng w th DNA s e
marers e ther from a commerc al source or prepared manually).

ё Buffer solut on, usually TBE buffer or TAE 1.0x, pH 8.0 .

ё Agarose .
ё An ultra oletfluorescent dye, eth d um brom de, (5.25 mg/ml n H2 O). The stoc
solut on be careful handl ng th s. Alternat e dyes may be used, such as SYBR Green.
ё N tr le rubber gloes. Latex gloes do not protect well from eth d um brom de .
ё A color marer dye conta n ng a low molecular we ght dye such as "bromophenol
blue" (to enable trac ng the progress of the electrophores s) and glycerol (to mae
the DNA solut on denser so t w ll s n nto the wells of the gel).
ё A gel rac.
ё A "comb" .
ё Power Supply .
ё UV lamp or UV l ghtbox or other method to  sual e DNA n the gel .


There are seeral methods for prepar ng gels. A common example s shown here. Other
methods m ght d ffer n the buffer ng system used, the sample s e to be loaded, the total
olume of the gel (typ cally th cness s ept to a constant amount wh le length and breadth
are ar ed as needed). Most agarose gels used n modern b ochem stry and molecular b ology
are prepared and run hor ontally.

1.‘ Mae a 1% agarose solut on n 100ml TAE, for typ cal DNA fragments (see f gures).
A solut on of up to 24% can be used f you analye small DNA molecules, and for
large molecules, a solut on as low as 0.7% can be used.
2.‘ Carefully br ng the solut on just to the bo l to d ssole the agarose, preferably n a
m crowae oen.

3.‘ Let the solut on cool down to about 60 °C at room temperature, or water bath. St r or
sw rl the solut on wh le cool ng.

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1.‘ Add 5 µl eth d um brom de (from a stoc solut on of 10 mg/ml) per 100 ml gel
solut on for a f nal concentrat on of 0.5 µg/ml. Be ery careful when handl ng the
concentrated stoc. Some researchers prefer not to add eth d um brom de to the gel
tself, nstead soa ng the gel n an eth d um brom de solut on after runn ng, n th s
case the eth d um brom de solut on has f nal concentrat on of 0.5 µg/ml.
2.‘ St r the solut on to d sperse the eth d um brom de, then pour t nto the gel rac.
3.‘ Insert the comb at one s de of the gel, about 5±10 mm from the end of the gel.
4.‘ When the gel has cooled down and become sol d, carefully remoe the comb. The
holes that rema n n the gel are the wells or slots.
5.‘ Put the gel, together w th the rac, nto a tan w th TAE. Eth d um brom de at the
same concentrat on can be added to the buffer. The gel must be completely coered
w th TAE, w th the slots at the end electrode that w ll hae the negat e current.


After the gel has been prepared, use a m crop pette to nject about 2.5 µl of sta ned DNA (a
DNA ladder s also h ghly recommended). Close the l d of the electrophores s chamber and
apply current (typ cally 100 V for 30 m nutes w th 15 ml of gel). The colored dye n the DNA
ladder and DNA samples acts as a "front wae" that runs faster than the DNA tself. When
the "front wae" approaches the end of the gel, the current s stopped. The DNA s sta ned
w th eth d um brom de, and s then  s ble under ultra olet l ght.

1.‘ The agarose gel w th three slots/wells (S).

2.‘ Inject on of DNA ladder (molecular we ght marers) nto the f rst slot.
3.‘ DNA ladder njected. Inject on of samples nto the second and th rd slot.

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A !"‘ ! s a method rout nely used n molecular b ology for detect on of a
spec f c DNA seuence n DNA samples.

The or g nal method was f rst deeloped by E. M. Southern n 1975 and later was mod f ed by
ar ous people for ar ous appl cat ons. The process of Southern blott ng starts after the agarose
gel electrophores s of restr ct on d gest or DNA. The gel s f rst washed w th buffer to remoe the
broen or fragmented res dues of agarose formed dur ng band ng and the accumulated
contam nants.

Then the gel s placed n ac d solut on (0.25 M HCI) for about 510 m n. Dur ng th s step, the
DNA undergoes depur nat on. After th s step the gel s placed n 0.25 M NaOH alal solut on.
Th s step ensures that the DNA s shorter n length (<500 bp) and s n s nglestranded form.
DNA fragments large n s e (>10 b) reu re a longer t me and moe n  gag form when
compared to shorter DNA fragments.

p nally, the gel s extens ely washed w th buffer to remoe the traces of HCI and NaOH. Then
the gel s placed on the f lter paper w th w gs d pped n a resero r conta n ng transfer buffer
placed n transfer buffer resero r tan wh ch s placed on the glass plate.

N trocellulose or nylon f lter paper s placed on the gel aboe wh ch a stac of blott ng papers
soaed n transfer buffer s placed and gently pressed us ng glass plate or rod to remoe the a r
that s trapped between the gel and membrane. Then a stac of unsoaed blott ng papers s
placed aboe them and the glass plate w th a we ght of 500 g s placed aboe t.

By cap llary act on the transfer buffer s transferred from the resero r to the blott ng papers.
Dur ng th s process the DNA from the gel s transferred onto the n trocellulose paper and
mmob l ed there due to the negat e charge of the DNA and the pos t e charge of the

Th s set up s allowed to stand l e that for 1218 hours. After th s t me per od the n trocellulose
or nylon membrane s taen out from the set up carefully. As the b nd ng of the DNA to the
n trocellulose or nylon membrane s wea, t has to be f xed more strongly, so that the DNA s
not washed off dur ng the wash ng of the membranes. There are two w dely used methods for th s

After the transfer, the membrane s exposed to ultra olet rays, so that a bond s formed between
thym ne res dues present n the DNA and the pos t ely charged am no groups on the surface of
the nylon membrane. Th s method s called as UVcross l n ng method. The other method s
ba ng of the n trocellulose or nylon membrane at 80°C n a acuum oen.

‘.2‘ !#‘

Add ng rad oact e or colored probes to the nylon sheet produces a pattern called the DNA
f ngerpr nt. Each probe typ cally st cs n only one or two spec f c places on the nylon sheet.

In molecular b ology, a "&A!‘ ! s a fragment of DNA or RNA of ar able

length (usually 1001000 bases long), wh ch s used n DNA or RNA samples to detect the
presence of nucleot de seuences (the DNA target) that are complementary to the seuence n
the probe. The probe there by hybr d es to s nglestranded nucle c ac d (DNA or RNA)
whose base seuence allows probetarget base pa r ng due to complementar ty between the
probe and target. The labeled probe s f rst denatured (by heat ng or under alal ne cond t ons
such as exposure to sod um hydrox de) nto s ngle DNA strands and then hybr d ed to the
target DNA (Southern blott ng) or RNA (northern blott ng) mmob l ed on a membrane or n
s tu.

Let's start w th the mechan sm, how the probe dent f es the seuence. Normally DNA s n
double stranded form, and the nucleot des AT and GC w ll form 2 and 3 hydrogen bonds to
each other (A to T and C to G). When we heat the DNA, t w ll denaturate to s ngle stranded
form and hydrogen bonds w ll no more bond the strands together, so we w ll hae two
complementary strands.

Now, lets add a short p ece of s ngle stranded DNA wh ch s labeled w th rad oact e
phosphorus or sulfur*. If the probe's seuence s ATTCCGG...TT, t w ll sl de past DNA
wh ch doesn't hae complementary seuence. When our probe happens to h t the seuence
AA...CCGGAAT, t w ll attach f rmly to ts "m ss ng half". Of course most probe molecules
w ll neer f nd the r complementary seuences and w ll attach to TT...CCCGAAT, for
example. But we can adjust the en ronment so that those probes that are not f rmly attached
w ll brea off, and only the true seuences are found. Th s separat on can be done by
adjust ng temperature and salt consentrat on etc., collect ely referred to as the "str ngency".

In Southern blott ng we hae f rst separated genom c DNA from a t ssue sample. Then the
long genom c DNA s cut nto smaller parts w th restr ct on enymes. P eces are separated
accord ng to the r s e w th agarose gel electrophores s and then transferred to a membrane,
usually nylon or n trocellulose.

Now that we hae our DNA bound to a sol d surface, separated by s e, we denaturate the
DNA and add the rad olabeled probe. The probe attaches to t's counterpart, some to almost
the r counterpart, and some just wander oer the membrane. Then we just wash away the
probes wh ch are loosely attached to DNA, because the more complementary the seuence s,
the more hydrogen bonds can form and the stronger the "un on" that w ll form between these
two molecules. And after wash ng we just expose the membrane to xray f lm and can see, f
we, for example, were succesfull to ach ee a transgen c calf.


DNA f ngerpr nt ng s often used n cr m nal cases to determ ne a suspect's gu lt. DNA from
a blood, ha r root, or semen sample found at the scene of a cr me can proe gu lt or nnocence
w th h gh prec s on. The DNA sample s cleaed w th a restr ct on enyme and the result ng
fragments are separated us ng Southern blott ng techn ues. DNA from the cr me scene s
analyed on the same gel as DNA from the potent al cr m nals, and therefore, DNA collected
from the scene can be compared w th that from ar ous suspects and the RpLP's produced
from the DNA of the gu lty suspect w ll match w th the RpLP's produced from DNA
collected from the cr me scene.

In the follow ng example, a woman was raped wh le she and her f ance were sleep ng n the r
car. They were found the next morn ng n the woods next to a recreat on area and both had
d ed of gunwounds. One man was later found dr  ng the stolen eh cle and he told
author t es of the fr end that was w th h m the n ght of the murders. In order to determ ne
wh ch suspect was gu lty of rap ng the woman, DNA f ngerpr nt ng (RpLP analys s) was
used. DNA from a semen sample retr eed from the body was compared w th DNA from
blood samples from both suspects. These DNA samples were cut w th a part cular restr ct on
enyme and fragments were separated by gel electrophores s. p gure 3 shows the RpLP's
from the semen sample n yellow and the RpLP's from both suspects n purple and blue. It s
shown n th s f gure that suspect 2 s the man that raped th s woman. It s poss ble that an
nnocent person could show the exact same restr ct on fragments, but the chance of th s s 1
n 9,390,000,000, wh ch s tw ce the human populat on of the world! Suspect 2 was con ced
of rape and murder and rece ed a double death sentence. Th s happened to be the f rst case

n the world n wh ch the con ct on of the death sentence was based on DNA f ngerpr nt ng
(The Dolan DNA Learn ng Center, 2000).

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PCRbased tool used n genet cs research, DNA f ngerpr nt ng, and n the pract ce of genet c
eng neer ng. Deeloped n the early 1990s by Keygene, ApLP uses restr ct on enymes to
d gest genom c DNA, followed by l gat on of adaptors to the st cy ends of the restr ct on
fragments. A subset of the restr ct on fragments s then selected to be ampl f ed. Th s
select on s ach eed by us ng pr mers complementary to the adaptor seuence, the restr ct on
s te seuence and a few nucleot des ns de the restr ct on s te fragments (as descr bed n deta l
below). The ampl f ed fragments are  sual ed on denatur ng polyacrylam de gels e ther
through autorad ography or fluorescence methodolog es.

ApLPPCR s a h ghly sens t e method for detect ng polymorph sms n DNA. The techn ue
was or g nally descr bed by Vos and Zabeau n 1993. In deta l, the procedure of th s
techn ue s d  ded nto three steps:

1.‘ D gest on of total cellular DNA w th one or more restr ct on enymes and l gat on of
restr ct on halfs te spec f c adaptors to all restr ct on fragments.
2.‘ Select e ampl f cat on of some of these fragments w th two PCR pr mers that hae
correspond ng adaptor and restr ct on s te spec f c seuences.
3.‘ Electrophoret c separat on of ampl cons on a gel matr x, followed by  sual sat on of
the band pattern.

A ar at on on ApLP s cDNAApLP, wh ch s used to uant fy d fferences n gene

express on leels.

Another ar at on on ApLP s TE D splay, used to detect transposable element mob l ty.

pIG:Example of ApLP Data from a Cap llary Electrophores s Instrument

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PCR s a new techn ue that was deeloped n 1986 by Kary Mull s and was appl ed to
forens cs n 1991 (porens c pact p les DNA Prof l ng, 2004). PCR has the ab l ty to repl cate
genet c mater al, and een proofread and mae correct ons on the cop es (porens c pact p les
DNA Prof l ng, 2004). It noles the repeated copy ng of spec f ed areas of DNA molecules.
These areas are the alleles and are spec f c seuences of base pa rs. These target areas are the
ar able reg ons. At e ther end of these target areas are ³flaner´ bases that are the non
ar able reg ons. The flaners occur at the same locat ons on the chromosomes of all people.
The bas s of PCR s to reproduce thousands of cop es of a part cular ar able reg on of the
DNA that s of nterest. Th s results n DNA fragments that ary n length due to the
ar ab l ty n the number of repeated reg ons. The process s used to ampl fy a small amount
of DNA taen from a sample of blood, ha r, etc. W th each cycle of copy ng, the uant ty of
the target allele s doubled result ng n an exponent al ampl f cat on of the gene n the PCR.
After 30 copy ng cycles, there w ll be one b ll on t mes more cop es of the target alleles than
at the start of the ampl f cat on process (Pr nc ple of the PCR, 1999).
‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘#‘: Steps n PCR. (Pr nc ple of PCR, 2004
There are three steps n the PCR process (see p gure):

1) !2 Th s process taes place at 94 degrees Celc us. Th s stage separates the
DNA double hel x, and forms DNA s ngle strands. Th s also forces eery enymat c react on
to come to a halt.

2) #2 Th s usually taes place at 54 degrees Cels us. The pr mers b nd to the r
complementary bases on the now s nglestranded DNA.

3) ;/!2 Th s taes place at 72 degrees Cels us. Th s step noles the synthes s of
DNA by polymerase. Start ng from the pr mer, the polymerase reads the template strand and
matches t w th complementary bases. The result s two new hel xes, each composed of one
of the or g nal strands plus ts newly assembled complementary strand (Pr nc ple of the PCR,

In order to obta n more cop es of DNA, the three step process s repeated. Each phase only
taes 13 m nutes, thus f you completed the process for 45 m nutes, m ll ons of cop es could
be generated because eery t me the process s repeated the amount of DNA doubles
(exponent ally) (p gure8).

pIG: D agram of Exponent al Growth n the Number of DNA Cop es Dur ng PCR.

Th s DAp analys s system s used rout nely to character se unnown solates of '‘ from
Austral a and worldw de by compar ng the DNA f ngerpr nts of these unnown solates w th
those from our DNA reference collect on (wh ch spans all the currently dent f ed VCGs of
') ‘Th s DAp analys s system has been thoroughly opt m sed and pro des an nformat e
and reproduc ble platform for the molecular character sat on of unnown solates of '.‘

Genomespec f c DNA f ngerpr nt patterns are analysed and scored manually (by eye);
f ngerpr nts of test samples are compared to standards (charactersed solates) by
assess ng the general f ngerpr nt pattern and scor ng for presence/absence of polymorph c
bands (see p gure 8). Scor ng s made eas er by plac ng gels on a l ghtbox, wh ch enables the
d scr m nat on of l ghtly sta ned bands. Test samples can be compared w th standards from
other gels by oerlapp ng gels on the l ghtbox, or by d g tally cutt ng and past ng the lanes
next to one to bu ld a new mage that maes scor ng eas er. DAp analys s s used n
conjunct on w th VCG test ng for the character sat on of unnown solates of '.

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Analys s of the alleles uses length ar at on of the ampl f ed alleles. The alleles used are
repeated un ts of the same seuence of bases. The length ar at on s the number of t mes that
a part cular base seuence s repeated between flaners. PCR techn ues are d  ded nto
d fferent categor es depend ng on the number of base pa rs n the repeated un ts. Var able
Number of Tandem Repeats (VNTR) uses between 9 and 40 bases per un t; Ampl f ed
pragment Length Polymorph sm (AmppLP) uses between 8 and 16 bases per un t; and Short
Tandem Repeats (STR) uses between 4 and 6 bases per un t (Schumm, 1996). STRs w ll be
focused on n th s paper because t s the techn ue of cho ce for most forens cs laborator es


The short tandem repeat (STR) methodology for extract ng DNA s the system most w dely
used form of DNA f ngerpr nt ng. Th s system s based on the features of PCR, as t ut l es
spec f c areas that hae short seuent al repeat DNA. The STR analyes how many t mes
base pa rs repeat themseles on a part cular locat on on a strand of DNA. The b g adantage
n th s method s that the DNA compar sons can match the poss b l t es nto an almost

Dur ng forens c exam nat on, an STR w th a nown repeat seuence s extracted and
separated by electrophores s. The d stance that the STR m grated s exam ned. Howeer,
cap llary columns are now used rather than the gel electrophores s that was used n the RpLP
analys s. Two short p eces of synthet c DNA called pr mers are spec ally des gned to attach
to a consered common nonar able reg on of DNA, wh ch flans the ar able target reg on
of the DNA. A m xture of chem cals nclud ng the pr mers, the nd  dual bases and a
copy ng enyme (polymerase) s added to the solut on w th the or g nal DNA strand that s to
be cop ed. The pr mers are short cha ns of the bases that mae up the s ngle strand of DNA.

Pr mers are complementary to the consered reg ons flan ng the targeted STR (blac arrows
n p gure6). The pr mer used n the PCR ampl f cat on process attaches a fluorescent tag to
the target alleles enabl ng the d stance traeled by the DNA fragments dur ng cap llary
electrophores s to be detected us ng a fluorescent scanner (Blacett pam ly DNA Act  ty 2,

‘ 02‘  
‘ ‘ ‘

porens c DNA analys s has been adm tted nto Un ted States courtrooms s nce 1987. The
common uest on be ng answered s ³Who s the source of th s b olog cal mater al?´ (Inman
and Rud n, 1997). DNA prof l ng was f rst used n the Un ted States courtroom n the case of
Tomm e Lee Andrews. (He was suspected of ser al rape, therefore, the nest gators wanted
to l n h s DNA to the DNA of the 23  ct ms. Because of the DNA analys s technology and
the CODIS system, Andrews was l ned to the ser es of rapes, and sentenced to 115 years
(Ramsland, 2004). Prof l ng has helped to acu t or con ct suspects of rape and/or murder

howeer t s used n less than one percent of all cr m nal cases (Genet c Sc ence Learn ng
Center, 2004). DNA prof l ng does not cla m to be an absolute dent f cat on, but may be ery
strong e dence and s cons dered to be just one part of the ent re case. DNA prof l ng s used
pr mar ly n sexual assault cases. Pr or to DNA test ng, labs were l m ted regard ng the
amount of genet c nformat on that could be obta ned from semen. Now w th DNA test ng,
the genet c content of the sperm tself can be exam ned. The RpLP method of analys s needs
a cons derable amount of mater al for test ng and may be unable to determ ne anyth ng from
a sample that has any degradat on. The PCR analys s needs only a m nute amount of sample
because t repl cates the DNA and can wor een w th degraded samples (Sull an Personal
Inter ew 2004). In the case of a rape nest gat on four prof les are formed (p gure10): the
f rst s a DNA prof le from the blood of the  ct m, the second DNA prof le s formed from
the blood of the defendant, th rdly a ag nal swab s taen, and the female and male fract ons
are separated and prof led separately. The  ct m¶s blood prof le and the ag nal swab prof le
should match alleles. The defendant¶s blood sample prof le should match the male fract on
prof le n order to cons der h m as a suspect. It s mportant to remember that DNA prof l ng
does not ncr m nate a suspect t can only exclude suspects.

Some examples of DNA uses for forens c dent f cat on nclude:

†‘Ident fy potent al suspects whose DNA may match e dence left at cr me scenes

†‘Exonerate persons wrongly accused of cr mes
†‘Ident fy cr me and catastrophe  ct ms
†‘Establ sh patern ty and other fam ly relat onsh ps
†‘Ident fy endangered and protected spec es as an a d to w ldl fe off c als (could be used for
prosecut ng poachers)
†‘Detect bacter a and other organ sms that may pollute a r, water, so l and food
†‘Match organ donors w th rec p ents n transplant programs
†‘Determ ne ped gree for see or l estoc breeds
†‘Authent cate consumables such as ca ar and w ne
(The pBI¶s DNA Databas ng In t at es, 2000)‘

DNA p ngerpr nt ng has eoled to tae part n a plethora of d fferent appl cat ons. Thef rst,
and most well nown appl cat on s forens cs, e ther murder or rape cases. Suppose anoff cer
arr ed at a cr me scene of a murder, and the only e dence that could be found was a
bloodsta n on the carpet from the suspect. If you were put on a jury and told, based on
sc ent f c e dence us ng DNA p ngerpr nt ng, that th s suspect was the murderer, would you
con ct h m? In the beg nn ng stages of ts ex stence, courts would not always allow the
e dence to be adm tted, based on the fact t hadn't been completely proen to be accurate. As
you'll see n a follow ng chapter, many court cases and laws cont nued to set precedence, and
DNA p ngerpr nt ng eentually became more and more access ble and less controers al n
the court of law. The pBI began to establ sh DNA p ngerpr nt ng as means of connect on to
cr mes early on. Between the years of 1989 and 1996, they used the techn ue n about
10,000 sexual assault cases (Establ sh ng Innocence, 2004). In those cases, 2,000 pr me
suspects were proen nnocent based on the results of the DNA prof l ng (Establ sh ng
Innocence, 2004). In p gure 8, you can see an example of an RpLP f ngerpr nt analys s of 7
suspects relat e to a cr me scene bloodsta n. It seems ery clear that Suspect 3 was present at
the cr me scene. It s also true to say that w thout th s method of test ng, those 2,000 nnocent
pr me suspects could most l ely hae faced con ct on (Establ sh ng Innocence, 2004).
Many cases from decades ago hae been recently reopened and the r erd cts changed by
adm tt ng new DNA e dence. Many of these cases w ll be expla ned n depth n a later
#‘'(‘7‘,%‘"‘/‘!B‘/‘"9/‘!‘‘##‘%"C/+6 /9&<‘)DD1À‘

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Patern ty test ng has also become a ery commonly used appl cat on of DNA p ngerpr nt ng.
When a ch ld s born, the ch ld nher ts 23 chromosomes from the mother, and chromosomes
from the father. Therefore, when a DNA test s done, ³the  s ble band pattern of the ch ld s
un ue. Half matches the mother and half matches the father´. A DNA patern ty test s the
most accurate form of test ng poss ble to determ ne parentage. If the patterns do not match on
two or more probes, then the father s 100% excluded, wh ch means he s w thout uest on
not the father. If a match s present on eery DNA probe, the probab l ty of patern ty s 99.9%
or greater. In a Court of Law, 99% s accepted as proof of patern ty (DNA D agnost c Center,
2004). In p gure 9, you can see that the mother (blue bands) and father (orange bands) both
hae separate DNA patterns. Now loo at daughter 1. You can see that some of the mothers
same blue bands are nher ted as well as some of the fathers orange bands. Daughter 2 has the
mothers blue bands, but not the orange band, nstead 38 red bands. Th s proes that the father
of daughter 1 s not the father of daughter 2, but a father from the mother¶s pre ous
marr age. Son 1 s a ch ld of both of the shown parents as well. Son 2, howeer, s adopted
because he doesn't hae any of the parents DNA. One of the most famous patern ty cases
noled Thomas Jefferson, the th rd Pres dent of the Un ted States, who n 1802, was
accused of mpregnat ng Sally Hem ngs, a slae at the Jefferson estate. No er f cat on or
con ct on was eer brought about howeer. The story was susta ned throughout the decades,
and n 1998, Dr. Eugene poster and a team of genet c sts, conducted DNA tests to proe the
accuracy of these accusat ons. The test results proed that t was ndeed a Jefferson who
fathered Sally Hem ng's son, Eston. At the t me of the ch ld¶s b rth, there where
approx mately twentyf e Jefferson's l  ng n V rg n a, all of who carr ed the
chromosome that would match the ch ld's. The erd ct proed that t was probable, yet not
conclus e, that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Eston Hem ngs (The Plantat on, 2004).

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Another appl cat on of DNA p ngerpr nt ng s for h stor cal clar f cat ons and dent f cat ons.
Oer the last decade, hundreds of m ss ng n act on (MIA) sold ers, that were neer
dent f ed, hae been dent f ed through the use of DNA p ngerpr nt ng. How s th s poss ble?
Relat es of un dent f ed sold ers who are w ll ng to use a sample  t to subm t a blood and
sal a sample to the laboratory, where ³forens c anthropolog sts, forens c dent sts and
eu pment recoery spec al sts who wor at the U.S. Army Central Ident f cat on
Laboratory´ (T ppy, 2004) analye the sample, and are able to match DNA w th MIAs, w th
as l ttle as a bone fragment recoered from a  lled sold er (T ppy, 2004).
"The most famous Amer can memor al for un dent f ed sold ers  lled n combat s located at
Arl ngton Nat onal Cemetery n Arl ngton, V rg n a" (Unnown Sold er). It has nher ted the
name as the Tomb of the Unnown Sold er (Unnown Sold er, 2004). In 1998, the rema ns of
sold ers  lled dur ng the V etnam War, wh ch occurred between 1959 and 1975, were
remoed for hope of dent f cat on. After test ng was completed, the rema ns were dent f ed
as p rst L eutenant M chael Blass e, an A r porce p lot who was  lled when h s hel copter
was shot down n V etnam n 1972. After the pos t e dent f cat on, h s fam ly bur ed the
rema ns n Sa nt Lou s, near Blass e's ch ldhood home. In 1999, Pentagon off c als made the
dec s on that based on technolog cal adances n th s DNA prof l ng and the ab l ty to
dent fy MIA's, no other sold er from the V etnam War would be bur ed n the Tomb of the
Unnown Sold er (Unnown Sold er, 2004).

DNA p ngerpr nt ng s also capable of determ n ng nher ted d sorders n adults, ch ldren, and
unborn bab es. A h stor cal example to proe th s noles our s xteenth pres dent and the
ssue of Marfan's Syndrome (Betsch, 1994), a d sease wh ch s character ed by unusually
long and n mble l mbs. As you now, Pres dent L ncoln was abnormally tall dur ng h s
l fet me wh ch lasted from 1809 to 1865. Could DNA e dence from L ncoln be recoered
that would proe th s d sease ex sted? Accord ng to Da d p. Betsch, 'the technology s so
powerful that een the bloodsta ned cloth ng from Abraham L ncoln has been analyed for
e dence of a genet c d sorder called Marfan's Syndrome" (Betsch, 1994). Although many
attempts hae been made to clearly dent fy th s d sorder n Abraham L ncoln, no conclus e
result has been reached due to damag ng of h stor cal art facts. Th s genet c test ng allows
people to "test for some 40 anomaly that flags a d sease or d sorder´ (Inher ted D sorders,
2002). ³Much of the current exc tement n gene test ng, howeer, centers on pred ct e gene
test ng: tests that dent fy people who are at r s of gett ng a d sease, before any symptoms
appear´ (Inher ted D sorders, 2002).

0+1‘ /!‘‘ %!‘
DNA f ngerpr nt ng has seen tremendous growth oer the last couple of decades, but s there
more on the hor on for new appl cat ons? One of the ma n challenges n the f eld s to create
an deal system of personal dent f cat on that would be ³ ndel ble, unalterable and ±unl e an
ID card ±part of the nd  dual´ (Marx, 1998). The sc ent f c goal s to generate th s as a
nat onal standard, where eery c t en s ncluded w th n the database, and to proe that there
are no drawbacs, such as m suse of med cal nformat on dur ng the dent f cat on process, or
any caut ous steps that are taen before DNA f ngerpr nt ng becomes the standard (Marx,
1998). In 2002, Alec Jeffreys, the nentor of DNA f ngerpr nt ng, put forth h s theory on the
DNA databases. He bel eed that ³eery c t en¶s genet c nformat on should be stored on the
UK nat onal reg ster´ (O'Br en, 2002). Jeffreys went on to say that ³ f we¶re all on the
database, we¶re all n exactly the same boat ± the ssue of d scr m nat on d sappears´
(O'Br en, 2002). The adantages and d sadantages of DNA databases, as well as ts progress
n the modern day soc ety, w ll be expla ned n more depth n a follow ng chapter. Another
challenge n th s grow ng f eld s to s mpl fy and hasten the procedure of runn ng a DNA
f ngerpr nt wh ch w ll reolut on e forens cs. In Austral a, researchers hae cla med that
they hae a techn ue that s tw ce as fast as conent onal DNA technology and s capable of
cran ng out 1,000 samples a day, where most laborator es manage only a few doen
(Dayton, 2002). ³Moreoer, prof les are der ed from DNA conta ned n a s ngle cell ²
ex st ng 41 procedures reu re at least 500 cells´ (Dayton, 2002). Team leader, Ian p ndlay,
of the Austral an Genome Research pac l ty, sa d of h s team¶s recent d scoer es, that ³ t¶s
such a breathrough we¶re wa t ng for the rest of the world to catch up.´ (Dayton, 2002) So

th s s where the debate beg ns. In the chapters to follow, forens cs of DNA, landmar DNA
court cases, and DNA databases w ll be exam ned. Also ssues such as the al d ty of these
tests, and the use w th n the courtroom and why some courts st ll w ll not completely trust
DNA e dence n the courtroom.



The COmb ned DNA Index System, CODIS, blends computer and DNA technolog es nto a
tool for f ght ng  olent cr me. The current ers on of CODIS uses two ndexes to generate
nest gat e leads n cr mes where b olog cal e dence s recoered from the cr me scene.
The Con cted Offender ndex conta ns DNA prof les of nd  duals con cted of felony sex
offenses (and other  olent cr mes). The porens c ndex conta ns DNA prof les deeloped
from cr me scene e dence. All DNA prof les stored n CODIS are generated us ng STR
(short tandem repeat) analys s.

CODIS ut l es computer software to automat cally search ts two ndexes for match ng DNA
prof les. Law enforcement agenc es at federal, state, and local leels tae DNA from
b olog cal e dence (e.g., blood and sal a) gathered n cr mes that hae no suspect and
compare t to the DNA n the prof les stored n the CODIS systems. If a match s made
between a sample and a stored prof le, CODIS can dent fy the perpetrator.

Th s technology s author ed by the DNA Ident f cat on Act of 1994. All 50 states hae laws
reu r ng that DNA prof les of certa n offenders be sent to CODIS. As of January 2003, the
database conta ned more than a m ll on DNA prof les n ts Con cted Offender Index and
about 48,000 DNA prof les collected from cr me scenes but wh ch hae not been connected
to a part cular offender.

As more offender DNA samples are collected and law enforcement becomes better tra ned
and eu pped to collect DNA samples at cr me scenes, the baclog of samples awa tn ng
test ng throughout the cr m nal just ce system has ncreased dramat cally. In March 2003
Pres dent Bush proposed $1 b ll on n fund ng oer 5 years to reduce the DNA test ng

baclog, bu ld cr me lab capac ty, st mulate research and deelopment, support tra n ng,
protect the nnocent, and dent fy m ss ng persons. por more nformat on, seethe U.S.
Department of Just ce's.

‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘ !‘$ /‘! ‘‘9#‘/2‘

ё Most major cr mes nole people who also hae comm tted m nor offenses.
ё Innocent people currently are ncarcerated for cr mes they d d not comm t; f samples
had been taen at the t me of arrest, these nd  duals would hae been excluded early
n the nest gat e process.
ё Mo ng the po nt of test ng from con ct on to arrest would result n sa ngs n
nest gat on, prosecut on, and ncarcerat on.
ё Inest gators would be able to compare other cases aga nst the arrested person's DNA
prof le, just as w th f ngerpr nts.



Th s report has been an effort to br ng to the publ c a greater understand ng of DNA

f ngerpr nt ng and ts uses. To beg n our exam nat on we looed at DNA structure and the
process of creat ng a DNA prof le. To cont nue w th the paper we explored the str ngent steps
that must be taen to collect and presere forens c e dence to help ts acceptance n the
courtroom. It log cally followed that we should nspect the h stor cal s gn f cance of the
precedence set by landmar court cases concern ng the adm ss b l ty of techn cal e dence
nclud ng DNA prof les. p nally we looed towards the future w th the establ shment and
ongo ng leg slat e mod f cat ons of the CODIS system. We chose these subjects to focus on
because t s mportant to nform the general publ c of them n order to d spel any myths
regard ng the usage of DNA n forens cs. We felt that th s top c pro ded a perfect example
of a new technology w th great mpact on soc ety, worthy of an IQP. The adances n
forens c technology hae allowed the soph st cat on and standard at on of the process by
wh ch forens c e dence s collected and presered n order to ncrease the chances of ts
acceptance n the courtroom. We hae found that due to the nature of most forens c e dence,
heat and mo sture can cause seere degradat on to samples. Because of th s t s necessary to
ao d pacag ng DNA e dence n plast c conta ners because plast c does not allow mo sture
to escape, and the DNA degrades. Also, because contam nat on, espec ally n the case of PCR
analys s can render the result ng prof le  rtually useless, t s essent al that only clean
nstruments are used n the collect on, and that care s taen to collect el m nat on control
samples. Cha n of custody must also be establ shed to ao d any argument of tamper ng. The
mportance of the treatment of th s genet c mater al cannot be oerstressed as the world
pa nfully 77 learned n the OJ S mpson tr al. W thout the r g d gu del nes that are now n
place, t would be d ff cult to argue the cred b l ty of the e dence tself.