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Forensic Identity


Human Identity

Organisms can be easily identified
through its unique DNA sequence
Our DNA plays an important role in
our everyday life from our
genealogy to court
We could easily profile someones
identity through the use of DNA
Forensic scientist use a special
scanner to view thirteen areas of
the DNA
DNA pattern produces a particular
DNA profile for that Person
DNA profiles are known as DNA

History of DNA
Sir Alec Jeffreys & DNA Finger Print
professor and geneticist at the University of Leicester in the

United Kingdom (UK) and pioneered DNA-based identity testing

Interested in studying the genetic variation between


Analysis of the myoglobin gene in seal meat

Found short repeating sequences that

were homologous between humans and


Repeating sequences could be highly

variable, informative genetic markers

developed a radioactive probe, made up

of short sequences, that could latch onto

those repeating sequences and
ultimately reveal patterns that were
unique to each individual: a DNA

DNA Profiling

DNA Profiling or Short Tandem Repeat(STR) Analysis

DNA profiling is simply the collection of VNTR, or the unique

sequences on the loci

VNTR: Variable Number Tandem Repeats

Ways to profile: Genetic Finger Printing and Gel


Powerful tool in forensic investigation

Uses the method of short DNA Fragments
DNA Fragments are usually measured under fluorescent
labels in order to see if the sample matches

Most DNA sequences in different people look too similar to

tell apart. After processing, however, VNTRs result in bands
that are unique enough to be used for identification.

Genetic Finger

Collection of sample: scientist only need a tiny amount

of DNA

Amplification of tell tale regions: Technique of

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Makes millions of
copies of the telltale region of the sample. The telltale
region is the number of repeat bases it contains or the
Short Tandem Repeat (STR).

Count repeats: dyes are attached to the STR copies, one

dye for each region in order for the regions to be
distinguished in the mix

Look for matches: To convict a suspect the STR repeats

must match the repeats in the crime scene sample

Gel Electrophoresis in Forensic


Gel electrophoresis is a method that

separates and view DNA, RNA, and

Is a technique used in forensic science

to analyze DNA samples

A persons DNA is unique, the pattern

of separation in the gel will be
different for each person

During a crime investigation this

technique is used to determine if the

two samples are a match

Basic Procedure

1.Preparation of the gel

(usually agarose)

2.Holes are put into the gel

to hold the DNA solution

3.Scientist places DNA

solution in the gel and

applies an electrical

4.DNA moves due to the

electric current and

migrates through the gel

5.The smaller DNA moves

through the gel faster
than larger pieces

Special Cases
A. 30-Year-Old Murder Solved
CASE:61- yr old Carroll Bonnet was stabbed to death in
his apartment. . Police collected evidence, including
latent fingerprints and palm prints from the victims
bathroom (officers believed the killer was trying to wash
off blood and other evidence before leaving the
apartment). The victims car was then stolen.
INVESTIGATION:The car was on Illinois but after print collection,
no new clues were found. There were no matches in the
RE-INVESTIGATION2008: Laura Casey searched for the prints
in IAFIS (did not exist in 1978). She found a positive identification
to Jerry Watson.

B. The Murder of Leanne Tiernan

CASE:In August 2001, a man walking his dog in Lindley Woods, near Otley, in West Yorkshire,
found the body of 16-year old Leanne Tiernan, buried in a shallow grave. This was about ten
miles from her home in Landseer Mount, Bramley, Leeds. She had been walking home from a
Christmas shopping trip with her best friend in November 2000 when she disappeared
o Plastic bag on head
o Dog collar
o Scarf in neck
o Cable tie in wrists
o Green plastic around her body
o Searched for the suppliers of dog collar and the twine
o Found out about John Taylor
o Hairs found in the scarf

C. A twist of fate
oRichard Buckland admitted the second crime but not the first one
oHe undergone DNA analysis (genetic fingerprinting) but it did not match
o5,500 men were tested around the area until a guy named Colin Pitchfork was

Role of forensics in

DNA forensic identification allows a

potential suspect to be identified

Evidence in the crime scene is crucial

particularly when it involves DNA

Also important in identifying victims of

crime who are unrecognizable

Establishes a familial connection in

paternity cases

Can link organ donors to those patients

in need and can reduce immunological

Elvidge, S., (2015). Forensic cases: the murder of leanne tiernan. retrieved from
Filter, D.,(2013).5 Real-life cases where DNA profiling changed everything. retrieved from

Saad, R., (2005). Discovery, development, and current applications of DNA identity testing.

pp130-133. Retrieved from

The FBI Stories. (2012).30-year-old murder solved: fingerprint technology played key role. retrieved from

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